Gad Saad – A Tsunami of Maladies Afflicting the Soul of Our Universities – SAFS 2018

Gad Saad teaches at the John Molson
School of Business at Concordia. He studied at McGill and Cornell. He has
degrees in psychology and business and in math and computer science. He
does research on hormones and consumer behavior and of course is the host of
The Saad Truth his video show. So join me in welcoming Gad Saad. Thank you. Thank you guys. I don’t know if
any of you have seen the classic movie All About Eve (1950) with Bette Davis.
There is a scene, a classic scene where she said – I can’t remember the exact words – “Buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.” So fasten your seat belts. Here we go. So
what I’m planning on doing is actually offering you some testimony of many of
the maladies that are affecting or afflicting our universities and then
I’ll offer one or two prescriptive solutions. One of the things that my book
agent told me as I’m working on my next book as you said you can’t just be the
guy to identify the diseases you’ve got to give us the cures you’ve got to give
people hope and so in that spirit at the end I’ll had a few prescriptive comments.
Apologies to a few people who were at the Civitas conference last week where I
also spoke a few of the slides overlap so forgive the repetitiveness but for
most of you the repetition but for most of you this hopefully will be new stuff
so I argue that there are two great threats to humanity
well not argue that’s reality they are of course biological pathogens that come
in all sorts of manners sometimes there bacterium sometimes there viruses
sometimes there parasites and they cause more death throughout human history than
your fear of bears and sharks and so on right but I argue that there’s another
set another class of viruses these are idea pathogens these are pathogens of
the human mind pathogens of the human spirit that regrettably could
potentially be as dangerous as biological pathogens and to kind of
further push this notion there are many cases in nature where you as an
evolutionary psychologist of course I often look at analogies and homologies
in the animal kingdom and so here are some parasitic realities in nature and
then I’ll link it to some of the things that interest a group here so the spider
wasp is much smaller organism than the spider on
which it eventually it eventually stings it rendering it hapless dragging
it to the burrow where it then lays its eggs and then its offspring
eat it in vivo now how is that related to anything that we’re interested in
here well political correctness is
the spider wasp it stings us and then haplessly leads us toward the abyss of
infinite darkness Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that
afflicts mice and when they’re afflicted with that parasite they lose their
innate fear of cats not a good it’s a maladaptive reality P. tenuis is
a brain worm that afflicts ungulates so for example the moose and when that
moose is inflicted or afflicted with that parasite it can do what’s called
circling behavior so it just literally goes around in a circle unable to
extricate itself from this behavior so even as the looming predators are
approaching it can’t extricate itself so now how do we take some of these notions
and apply them to the realities we’re facing so they are idea pathogens:
“radical feminism,” “post-modernism,” “social constructivism,” “cultural and moral
relativism,” “political correctness,” “echo chambers void of intellectual diversity.”
“the culture of perpetual offensive victimhood,” “identity politics coupled
with progressive self flagellation.” Each of these are really really dangerous
idea pathogens and my next book tentatively right now the title is The
Parasitic Mind where I actually sort of lay out where which ecosystem do these
pathogens arise from universities and then how do we try to inoculate
ourselves or free ourselves from some of these idea pathogens and so I can break
up a lot of these idea pathogens into three categories in
some cases we have idea pathogens that attack basic scientific truths there is
no such thing as two phenotypes in Homo sapiens there is no such thing as
biological sex that’s a fundamental attack on a reality that is obvious to
the average dull two-year-old but apparently you’re a Nazi bigot if you
think that biology matters then there are attacks on the epistemology for
seeking truth right so there are endless ways of knowing and your way of
knowing called the scientific method should not be a privileged way post
modernism says there are no objective truths so in this case it’s not a specific truth that
you’re attacking but you’re attacking the epistemology of how to go about
approaching getting to truth and then thirdly there’s a class of pathogens
that attacks the idea of what it is to navigate through a meritocracy and
I’ll give examples of each of these for today’s talk I’ll begin with all those
sort of the feeling stuff that you all know about we can then freedom of speech
that hurts other people’s feelings okay here is the for those of you who don’t
know their work but I suspect in this room probably most of you do the Justice
Center For Constitutional Freedoms comes out with a yearly index where they rate
all Canadian universities on four metrics university policies, university
practices, student Union policies, and student union practices. So in this case
they rated 60 universities on these four metrics so there are 240 possible grades
in a perfect world you’d have 240 A’s. There were six A’s out of 240. Six A’s.
Digest that. And 38 F’s. Since we’re at Western I’m granting you the courtesy of
showing you how much you suck. Western, you scored a C,D,D,C but just so that
you don’t think that I’m not going to show how bad how poorly my university
does we’re a bit better than you actually we’re B,C,F,C but again neither
scores has anything to write home to your parents about some of you may have
heard of this incident that happened last summer
Jordan Peterson, myself, Oren Amitay, and Faith Goldy were supposed to speak at a
conference titled The Stifling of Free Speech on University Campus it was being
held at Ryerson University that speech was stifled and the the the incredible
thing is that I was accused for those of you who don’t know I’m from Lebanon and
we’re Jewish I was accused of being a white supremacist, anti-semitic, Nazi so
when your moral compass has become so broken that you actually feel emboldened
in making that accusation you suffer from an idea pathogen let me just read
you this because it’s very powerful this is Edward Schlosser a professor at
a liberal some some liberal arts college I can’t remember which one if you want
to follow the sources at the bottom I have intentionally adjusted my teaching
materials as the political winds have shifted I also make sure all my remotely
offensive or challenging opinions such as this article are expressed either
anonymously or pseudoanonomysly most of my colleagues who
still have jobs have done the same hurting a student’s feelings even in the
course of instruction that is absolutely appropriate and respectful can now get a
teacher into serious trouble I’ll skip the rest but he’s basically saying the
way he organizes his pedagogic material is to is he by putting it through the
sieve of can I be sure that not a single syllable that I say will offend a single
person and that’s astonishing but that’s not North Korea that’s not Cuba that’s
here now for those of you who think that you
only have to worry about Big Brother University monitoring your speech on
campus no University of New Hampshire has come up with the wonderful liberating
idea of monitoring students speech not while they are under the purview of some
University function as private citizens if they say something that
might create an environment that is hostile then they could be sanctioned
again not under the guise of there being you know students at a university I mean
that’s astonishing you just have to read the start of this article right so big
brother is watching you even when you’re not on campus that’s happened to me let
me tell you a story now this will go into whether it is what was it honest
civility what was the term what was the dichotomy on yeah let’s see if it’s
honest incivility or width so this degenerate act cell bio Josh who’s a
incredibly obnoxious haughty guy I didn’t know who he was
he started sort of trolling me 99% of the time I ignored his stuff I’m cool
once in a while I’m bored and I feel like taking some guy on and I do it with
complete width and with a smile on my face I decided to take this idiot on and
at one point because he was being so haughty I said no no the retarded
schmuck recently learned how to pronounce vowels respect him okay I had
no idea who this guy was I mean literally no idea he’s an
anonymous guy on Twitter it could be a guy a woman I don’t know
he starts by tweeting to my university he’s hurt he’s been attacked
it’s homophobia so then other people respond to him what do you talk about
why is it homophobic what are you talking about I don’t know what his
sexual orientation is I don’t know if he’s a man or a woman he says well the
use of the word degenerate which is not here not in this tweet has homophobic
connotations so then he tries to rile up my university that way it doesn’t work
then he tries to rile up the social justice warriors it doesn’t work
he contacts my university okay this is happening in the 21st century in Canada
he contacts my university to complain about this tweet by the way Twitter take
kicks me off the platform for 12 hours right because his feelings are so
precious that me calling him retarded schmuck after he was attacking me was
something that he simply could not handle is this someone as an adult who
could function healthily in society anyways the university contacts me after
hours politely to question me about this can you guess how that conversation went
I said so you contacted me your contacting me
after hours because you think that it is within your purview to question what I
say to whom when I’m not operating as a professor for oh but professor Saad he’s
a student I said he’s a student somewhere he’s not my student it’s not
it wasn’t under my guys as his professor it turns out that he’s a graduate
student in Australia so retarded schmuck was so hostile to him that the ten
thousand miles separating us was not enough for him to feel protected but the
fact that the university felt sufficiently embolden to not laugh him
out but to follow up tells you the state that we’re in continuing with sort of
the coddling and we’re all special here’s a fantastic source this is the
gentleman the source that I’m showing you that he said he used to be a
professor at Duke University showing you the Great Inflation from 1983 all the
way to 2013 it’s astonishing the average grades used to be seized the
average grades now are hovering towards AIDS look at the next slide professor
Matt Steffey that’s exactly right as somebody who studies consumer
psychology I detest the metaphor of students as consumers and so on and we
are service providers we’re not professors where we’re providing a
service well here you see that the most common grade that is now received is an
a 45% of grades of all grades assigned are A’s
it used to be seized so if any of you graduated you know with honors or
Comelec today that grade would not pass this is
an article that I wrote a while ago and it’s only gotten worse the article was
titled I’ll have large fries a hamburger a diet coke and an MBA hold the pickles
yeah and this is as I’ve obtained an MBA but when I obtained the MBA I think it
was 67 credits it was two full years four semesters of five to six courses
graduate courses a semester for you to finish 25 years later it’s roughly half
that I think now it’s about 40-something well what happened what I mean why is it
that 20 years ago you’d have to pass through a much much larger hoop to get
the MBA well because you know market conditions people are busy we have to
water it down you could do it on the weekend you could with that’s attacking
the integrity of the academic process I won’t read this whole thing but just to
kind of give you some good news here’s the archetype of what I would consider
the ideal student this is an email that I received just a few days ago from a
student who had done very poorly in my course yet wrote to me to simply say I’m
sorry that I did poorly I think you’re great your course was fantastic I take
responsibility what for having done poorly and this is the first time that
someone writes this I appreciate this spiritual experience now that’s some
good feedback when a student is able to characterize your course as a spiritual
experience that’s a good thing so in this case the student is taking personal
responsibility they’re being intrinsically motivated that’s
certainly the type of trace that we need to be fostering in our students I always
tell my students when they are thinking about you know whining about their
grades I give them the following analogy when I go see my physician and he gives
me my cholesterol scores I don’t negotiate for a better cholesterol score
my cholesterol score is it and so your grade is it down to the last two
decimals and usually I don’t end up having any problems with them not only
is grading racist peer review reviewed research is research so the process by
which we adjudicate good ideas from bad ones using the peer review process that
inherently itself is a form of white supremacy so this is some of you would
of course know this case UBC law professor Lorna June McHugh argued that
the peer review process is antithetical to her oral traditions and the Human
Rights Tribunal said yeah that sounds like a good idea let’s let’s talk about
it and then of course I added here and this is because it’s it’s as someone
who’s now been a professor for almost 25 years I see it if you go through the ten
year process rest assured you’re going to get tenure as as long as you’re not a
white male and I know this from personal experience I mean not not me but having
sat on tenure committees every single case is overturned so I could we could
sit there we could waste tons of time it goes through the different layers a
person has not been in the least bit productive and then they refuse tenure
and then you show up the next year oh look they’re here and you never find out
what happened but you know that they simply filed some grievance you know
that they weren’t a white male and somehow the denial of their tenure was
overturned so as I strolled hear productivity is
for suckers your identity is your CV since of course the whole peer review
process and tenure is all part of white supremacy I decided to give you a list
of things that have now been defined as being white supremacy now I won’t go
through all of these sorry what is it but yeah pump pumpkins lotta actually
it’s it’s pumpkins lotta Disney taking exam meritocracy voting for Trump having
white children is white supremacy Thomas Jefferson statue white marble and
artwork sciences white supremacy capitalism mathematics free speech
medieval studies university mascots Halloween costumes milk is a form of
white nationalism saying all lives matter is white supremacy promoting
diversity of thought the US Constitution and I don’t know what that means but the
invention of the white race is a form of white supremacy this is not this is not
satire for those of you who watch my stuff you know that I’m pretty big on
satire and sarcasm but they’re always beating me reality is always ahead of my
satire this is at Trent University in Canada it’s okay to be against whiteness
and look at the quote not not by Lindsey Shepherd but by Lindsey Yeates the Trent
Central Student Association ethical standards commissioner it sounds very
ominous whiteness uphold systems of power like capitalism and patriarchy and
as we continue accessing and not acknowledging the privilege of being
white we help to uphold these oppressive systems so capitalism as an
instantiation of white supremacy the CBC surprise contacted me to comment on this
and of course they took the following quote they were they were accurate judge
people on their individual merits and faults and let’s stop with this identity
politics nonsense this is at my city one of my alma mater McGill campus if any of
you have not watched this clip you should it’s a clip of a gathering of me
too you know at McGill it’s it really is astonishing it’s difficult to watch it
and believe that this is truly happening at a leading world institution they
start off by so this is a me too you know the whole sexual assaults and
so on they start off by sort of pointing to white men as being the problem
because of course there is no recorded evidence whatsoever that any other men
engage in sexual violence other than white men and then they apologize for
standing on stolen land and then they engage in what’s called a
progressive stack if those of you who don’t know what that is this is where if
you’re given you know the platform to speak you speak or not as a function of
where you rank and the progressive stack so a white woman gets up and says well
you know I’m just a white woman so I don’t think I should be speaking so I’m
willing to cede my space if there are any transgendered indigenous or people
of color and so on and so forth and but this is not satire this is this and and
the people are are applauding her it’s a it’s a wonderful thing so whether you
have a right to speak or not is a function of where you rank and
victimology poker there is an ideology and a legal system that treats people
this way does anybody know what that system is called sorry it’s called
Sharia law okay it’s where I come from in the Middle East
Sharia law is contrary to our systems of law where we’re it’s supposed to be
blind justice it recognizes that a crime is more or less severe as a function of
the identity of the two participants the victim and the perpetrator will
determine their identity will determine whether I should punish you in X or Y
identity politics is just a new instantiation of that grotesque system here’s identity politics now shaping the
highest level of chaired professorships that the Canadian government gives so
for those of you who are academics there is the Canada Research Chair
now the Canadian government has put with as the as part of the metrics that they
look at when they’re deciding whether who should get the Canada Research Chair
one of the things is you know are you from an indigenous background or a woman
and so on that of course has come to Concordia where at my university where
we have what’s called the Concordia University Research chairs which is a
shared professorship that I’ve held for 10 years
and my chair professorship ends this May and so I was applying for my next chair
now here look what they wrote the proportion of appointments by level of
faculty and principles of equity diversity and inclusion and also they
talk about gender equity they put the following figure so I was applying for
what’s called a tier 1 chaired professorship at the John Wilson School
of Business zero women have it three men have it oh I went up against a
departmental colleague she obviates I don’t are those gays I’ll leave it to
you to the side but I’m willing to put them both up publicly and then you can
decide who should have gotten it and it’s not just the title it comes with
huge amounts of income stipend research stipends course remissions so it’s not
just oh gee I didn’t get a nice title there are real repercussions that affect
real people the good news for me though is that the Canadian Senate taught me
that my gender can change on any given day
and so therefore next year I plan to apply with a much stronger dossier when
I’ll be self identifying as a woman by the way the gentleman in question here
you see this is me speaking in front of the Canadian Senate regarding Bill c16
it was briefly mentioned I think earlier today bill c16 nobody questions the fact
or at least if you truly are a classically liberal person of course I
support the right of everybody to live free of hate and bigotry and to have all
of the rights that are afforded to all of us but I was in my case speaking as
an evolutionary psychologist in terms of whether when is it going to be the case
that someone could say hey you’re talking about evolved sex differences in
your course which is sort of the foundational mechanism natural and
sexual selection are the two mechanisms they have illusionary mechanisms that
explain much of who we are well wouldn’t that be transphobic systemic violence
and quo as Harvard said aren’t eiper petting
quote fixed binaries and biological essentialism so I was making a very
sober scientific argument as to the potential dangers of vilsi 16 not
questioning the fact that all people should live with full dignity and have
all the rights that are afforded to all of us right
well whatever what happened to Lindsay Shepherd is exactly what I was warning
against I mean not in those exact ways that happened to her well this Senator
accused me of promulgating pro genocide message you can go and watch it
so the Lebanese Jew who escaped execution in Lebanon and came to Canada
to live freely here and is now trying to protect people from all this nonsense
well as a pro genocide supporter this is the discourse in the Canadian Senate you
can go all watch it now let’s see if if it is the case that the kind of the
research chairs and the Concordia University Research chairs really need
to ramp up the help for women because they’re so marginalized in universities
we could use this thing called data to try to decide whether that’s true well
it turns out that the US government has that data for us so they looked at five
races all the five racial breakdowns across for educational attainment
associate degree bachelor’s degree master’s degree and doctorate so there
are twenty cells five races by for educational attainment and in each of
the cells you could look at what’s the ratio of male to females who obtain that
degree so if the if the victimology narrative is true 20 out of 20 cells
would have men outnumbering women in those cells what’s the actual number 20
out of 20 cells women outnumber men so so take a moment and process that every
single cell every race and every degree women get more the
than men across the whole possible landscape of data that doesn’t get you
to question whether we should be having a gender equity program well if we have
to have gender equity at this point it should be the reverse one here is what
here’s the rampant sexism of Canadian medical schools women outnumber men now
at almost all the schools so that’s why you know we need to give them more perks
now again this is not questioning the fact that for many many years
there was institutionalized sexism against women no one is questioning that
and no but no one needs to lecture me about that since I come from the Middle
East where there continues to be massive endemic institutionalized sexism against
women and I speak out against it but we need to be able to change the narrative
when the data no longer supports the victimology narrative but apparently
you’re a Nazi bigot if you do that let me now give you some examples of attacks
on scientific truths and attacks on the epistemology for generating truth some
of you may have seen the story if you follow my work this is a story that
happened to me this is in 2002 and in a second you understand what these two
images mean in 2002 one of my doctoral students had just finished his PhD he’s
actually now a Canada Research Chair professor at Laurier his name is Tripp
odd Gill and we were going out to celebrate his finishing his ph.d and he
told me oh I’m bringing a date with me and it was myself and my wife and so we
were going out today he said but I just want to give you a
heads up professor she’s a you know she’s a radical feminist
and a post modernist and a cultural anthropologist so can we tone it down to which I said Oh mum’s the word of
course I wasn’t gonna keep quiet we knew that that promise was going to be
violated at some point so during the evening at one point I said to the lady
so I hear you’re a postmodernist yes I said well do you mind if I offer you so
Postma if there are no objective truths do you mind if I offer you because as an
evolutionary psychologist I do work under the assumption that there are
universal truths there are things called human universals so can I pitch some
what I consider to be universal and then you could tell me how I’m wrong yep go
ahead say okay well within Homo sapiens only women bear children so I prophesy I
was being prophetic about the whole blue sea sixteen way before it happened I
said only women can bear children is that is that a universal she looked at
me with utter disgust with contempt she huffed and puffed she rolled her eyes so
absolutely not no it’s not only women that bear children she goes no there is
a try a Japanese tribe off some Island where within the spiritual realm within
their spiritual doctrines it is men who bear children by you restricting the
conversation to the biological materialist realm that’s how you keep us
barefoot and pregnant after I recovered from my mini-stroke I then asked okay
well maybe it’s too controversial for me to argue that women bear children that’s
that seems to be too taboo let’s take a slightly more innocuous example is it
true since time immemorial that sailors have presumed that the Sun rises in the
east and sets in the west is that is that true he or she used something
called deconstructionism she said what do you mean I don’t play labels what do
you mean by east and west what do you mean by Sun that which you call Sun
I call and now you understand I call dancing hyena
and there I said but fine so the dancing hyena rises in the east and sets in the
west if I don’t put dancing hyena lotion on my skin I might get us dancing hyena
burn she said no no I don’t play those games now that’s not she wasn’t an
anomaly she wasn’t an outlier she is what is being taught to all your kids
was your hard earned money not only are you losing all the money you are
infecting those children or young adults with idiotic
anti science anti reason anti logic nonsense so there’s a real cost to
allowing these viruses to proliferate let me just mention a few other examples
so this is the liberating lens of academic feminism the list is actually
much longer but there are fields feminist science feminist mathematics
mathematics we have a mathematician here I mean I thought that mathematics would
be the one area where we can absolutely be free of identity politics no and I’ll
talk about it in a second let’s go down well feminist business school is the
idea that the term profit took to profit capitalism these are inherently
patriarchal ways of viewing the economy and therefore we need to build business
schools that are based on a more sort of inclusive feminist ethos and then
feminist biology this is not satire this is true this paper has been cited over
1200 times published in the University of Chicago Press journals so this is not
some sort of quack paper paper published or whatever you know nonsense journal
she argues that the whole manner by which we describe conception there is an
egg and she’s passive so she’s Victorian and then there are these spermatozoa
that are active and adventuresome and so on that whole thing that language to
describe conception and that way is already starting this
you know sexist gender rules she is not joking she’s not being
satirical she’s a very serious quote scholar who’s been cited 1200 times prophetic satire and actually the math
there’s a mathematician in this room would at lunch told me oh I I watched
this clip of yours here by the way this is when I’m doing when I’m satirizing
the social justice warriors I bring out this what do you call it the wake thank
you I was thinking of the term in French the first time that I brought out that
wig I called my wife I said hey do you know where that red wig is and she’s
like what why are you asking this don’t worry about it and eventually that wig
has become part of the sad truth classics so here what I did is I I had
said this was completely a satirical this is kind of a SoCal hoax type of
clip I said that I had founded a new field as someone who had studied
mathematics and someone was very progressive and you know into social
justice I found that a new field called social justice mathematics and so in
doing so you should really watch the clip and by the way that prophetic
satire is now reality for example I argue that irrational numbers is
absolutely bad think as it marginalizes mental illness the inequality operator
creates an ableist mentality prime real and perfect numbers it’s all divisive
language binary numbers they perpetuate fixed binaries Laplace transform uses
the trans prefix so it is transphobic and equilateral triangles are inclusive
isosceles and scalene triangles are bigoted and actually some people wrote
to me and they actually didn’t think that I was being satirical and it was
like good stuff well a year later I start getting calls from the media
asking me to comment about exactly what my prophecy was which is now there was a
book that was written saying that we need to have more social justice in
mathematics the mathematics as currently taught as white
supremacy and so on and so forth so that which I had thought no one could ever
come up with such stupidity it only took ten months and it caught up
to my satire decolonized science so this is really basically saying out with the
epistemology of science right now here is a Quebec Deputy Minister who got
pushback recently because he questioned the place of indigenous traditional
knowledge now let me let me be clear as an evolutionary psychologist I
understand that people have ecological knowledge that’s specific to an
ecosystem so nobody is questioning that right so you could have been in the
particular region where you’ve been there for many many generations and you
could have knowledge about the fauna and flora this is content knowledge this is
ecological knowledge that you absolutely have greater knowledge than the rest of
us that doesn’t mean that at the Epis thermo logical level you have different
way of knowing you don’t solve cancer either through sexist Western medicine
or you dance to the Rainman doing booga-booga right that’s not how it
works so yes we should be respectful of local knowledge that people may have but
there is only one epistemology there’s only one game in town it’s called a
scientific method and so other ways of knowing are not equal if they’re going
to be equal then they have to be put through this exact same scrutiny of the
scientific method and so University of Capetown a rather prestigious university
in the African continent held a sit-in where they said science must fall and
the people who were promulgating that idea are now known as Follis the idea
that science itself all of science Darwin Newton it’s all built on one way
of knowing and there are other ways of knowing and if you attack those ways of
knowing then you are engaging an episome illogical colonialism and here’s an
example of a paper published in a real journal where they exactly argue that
so these are real cancers of the human mind they’re there they really are
intellectual terrorism right now now I’m gonna get I’m almost done now I’m gonna
get to I guess some prescriptive stuff before I do that let me talk about two
nonsensical ideas social constructivism is really the idea that we’re born
tabula rasa with empty minds and it is only the processes of socialization that
make us who we are now as an evolutionist I don’t question the fact
that socialization is important of course we’re socialized we’re socialized
by our parents and our rabbis and and television if that’s all true but by the
way socialization happens in its form because of biology so it’s not
antithetical it’s not biology or the environment nurture happens because of
nature okay but in any case we are born with biological imperatives it’s
trivially obvious to show this you show that for example by taking children who
are too young to have been socialized and show that they have certain
preferences that they could not have learned I’ll talk about that in a second
so the idea of hard radical social constructivism is complete nonsense but
if it’s something that’s been promulgated in the social sciences and
the humanities for 30 40 years bio phobia is kind of a a consequence of
that bio phobia is fear of biology so biology is OK in describing the behavior
of the mosquito and the rabbit and the zebra but don’t you dare apply biology
to explain human affairs somehow humans transcend biology right that’s what
makes us human according to these folks what makes us human is that we are not
under the purview of the same biological imperatives as the zebra
we’re cultural animals and of course we’re not we’re both cultural animals
and biological animals so how would you dismantle something like this so next
what I’m going to talk about is a epistemological tool that you could all
use when you’re having these trench ideological warfare with people so take
for example well why do you think I put these two Tory things so Tory
preferences is sort of one of the classic examples of
so-called social constructivism the idea is that little boys are taught to play
aggressively with blue trucks little girls are taught to play in a nurturing
manner with pink dolls and that starts a cascade of gender specific socialization
right and a truly progressive person would have their son play with dolls and
would have their daughter play with guns right but if you’re a toy company you
don’t care about ideological dogma you care about selling things and so that’s
why practitioners typically never give me grief for my theories because they
don’t care about ideological dogma they care about how do you describe reality
as it really exists right so let’s see if I could construct for you this is
called bear with me this is a bit technical excuse me. This is called a nomological network
of cumulative evidence. What does that mean? If I want to make an argument that
something is an adaptation, something is due to a biological cause, what I’m going
to do is I’m going to try… so for example here are toy preferences biological base
or are they completely social constructions? Ok? So then I would think
what would be the data that I would have to show you to prove to you in an
unassailable manner that there is a biological basis to toy preferences and
that epistemological process is what I call nomological networks of
cumulative evidence. And I’ll go through a few. I won’t go through all of them but
I’ll give you a bit of an example. Charles Darwin himself had used
nomological networks although he didn’t call it that in his days when he was you
know collecting all of the data for Origin of Species over a 20-plus year
period what was he effectively doing? He was methodically, judiciously
collecting data from endless different sources which when you put it all
together it became impossible to dispute his theory. And if 150 years later
a lot of very motivated people have tried to dispute it and it still stands.
And so let me show you how we could apply it in the current context. Well I
could take children – look at this one this comes from developmental psychology –
I could take children who are in the pre socialization stage meaning that they
don’t yet have the cognitive development to be socialized so by definition I’m
ruling out that possibility and I could show that they exhibit sex-specific toy
preferences that boys will reach out to the truck or stare at the truck more and
vice-versa for girls so already that first box is casting doubt on the idea
that it’s all due to social construction but let’s see if I can give you a few
more that really build sort of the tsunami of evidence against that
position you could take this is called comparative psychology this one here I
could look to other animals so I could take rhesus monkeys I could take vervet
monkeys I could take chimpanzees and I could show that the infant’s within
those species exhibit the same sex specific type references now are they
also being under the influence of patriarchal sexism or might there be
some homology across the behaviors now if that’s not enough let me do one more
but if we did all of them believe me even the one who is least convinced
would be convinced by the end of this lecture you could take people kids who
suffer from something called congenital adrenal hyperplasia which is an
endocrinology cool disorder if little girls suffer from it they become
masculinized they become masculinized in their
morphology and in their behavior well you take little girls who suffer from
this under chronological disorder and you study their toy preferences what do
you think happens to their toy preferences they become masculinized so
if I stop the conversation right there I’m not gonna do all of them already
that is casting huge doubt on your idea that it’s all due to the vagaries of the
evil patriarchy I didn’t have to get into histrionics I had to just simply be
very judicious and think about what are the
variety of data that I could offer you to convince you that your peddling
bullshit right and someone earlier I won’t point to them said to me you know
how is it that you carry yourself and such public forums with such confidence
well part of it is the luckiness of the random combination of genes that led to
who I am I happen to just be confident but part
of it comes from not speaking about something unless I’m fully confident
that the data fully supports me and the way that I do that is by building these
neurological networks and so all of us in this room should
certainly benefit from understanding that epistemology if you want to know if
a particular religion is peaceful or not build the normal logical network there
is a wide range of data that you could collect that’s already been collected
for you that will unequivocally answer the question of whether Islam is
peaceful or not whether Jainism is peaceful or not you don’t have to guess
you don’t have to listen to your friend you could you could build that data there with me a bit I think we’re still
okay bear with me does anybody know what the hygiene hypothesis is you do oh
that’s good in evolutionary medicine evolutionary medicine is basically
applying evolutionary principles well in medicine understanding the
adaptive processes that led to our bodies to be able to better cure
diseases the hygiene hypothesis is a beautiful idea that basically said well
it’s not an idea it’s been confirmed empirically so if you take children who
suffer from respiratory ailments or those who don’t it turns out that
whether they’ve been exposed from a young age to respiratory pathogens
determines whether they’re going to suffer from ailments and it might not be
what you think intuitively if they’ve grown up in very sterile environments
that’s when they develop respiratory ailments why because their immune system
has not received the inputs to kick in their immunological defenses so if I
grow up in an OCD sterile home I’m more likely to vote to develop
asthma if I grow up in an environment where there are pets and a bit of dander
here and there I’m less likely to develop asthma so this brilliant
neuropsychiatry Steve I wish I had come up with the idea but he beat me to it
Steve stanky vicious analogize this to ideas he said that what we’re doing in
universities is creating sterile environments sterile echo chambers akin
to the the allergens right you need allergens to develop your protection for
against respiratory ailments you need contrary ideas to develop your capacity
to think to develop your capacity for critical thinking it’s a it’s a truly
beautiful analogy so let’s see how whether we have political echo chambers
at universities or not this study just came out the the author Lang bird had
actually emailed me to to tell me about his paper so this is a study that was
done 51 of the top ranked liberal arts colleges eight thousand six hundred and
eighty eight so this is a very big very representative sample size more than
five thousand of which registered as either Democrats or Republicans and all
I’m going to show you here I won’t go through all of them it’s the ratio of
Democrats to Republicans across disciplines the least lopsided the least
lopsided is one point six not now for example in medicine if you had a one
point six odds ratio that would be a huge effect right here that’s the least
one is that one point six now let’s keep going I won’t do all of them very
quickly you get to eight point two to one ratio and let’s keep going oh yes
sociology forty three point eight anthropology you can’t calculate the
Democrat to Republican ratio because it’s a unicorn he doesn’t exist the
Republican it’s fifty-six to zero and in communications it’s 108 to zero now you
might say and I I receive as you might imagine endless
emails from people sometimes they write to me I say well so what’s the big deal
with that professors are smart so of course they’re going to be democratic
Bohr you must be part of the problem right on many issues like fiscal policy
foreign policy is the death penalty a good idea for serial pedophiles or not
there is no absolute scientific truth there are compelling arguments to be
made both pro and con any of these issues now I might fit on this side you
might fit but but there really is value in hearing your side of why you think
the death penalty is good or bad but imagine if you grown up or been
inculcated in an ideological sterile environment you don’t build your
defenses and just to show you the next slide it turns out that the more
prestigious university is so in this case you break it up into tiers tier 1
meaning most prestigious and so on the more prestigious the university is the
more lopsided so the most prestigious universities the ratio of Democrats to
Republicans is twenty-one point five to one
that’s just breathtaking so heterodox Academy which some of you know that’s
what they’re trying to do they’re trying to fight that incredibly politically
sterile environment that we see in universities Canadian universities I
won’t go through the whole thing but it’s roughly the same it’s it’s the same
sort of bias so last slide how do we save our universities so let me just
read it for you number one pursue knowledge unencumbered
by ideological activism no knowledge is forbidden if gathered objectively using
the scientific method I I had a chat last year with some of you may know him
Sam Harris on his show and he asked me in your research is there anything that
you would consider forbidden to study and my answer was a very quick
absolutely not if you study it with complete objectivity and adhering as
best as you can to the scientific method then you could never have the calculus
of oh but what if someone event misuses that then physics should never
have been studied because it led to the atomic bomb right I mean it’s an endless
slippery slope no more identity politics instead
promote the dignity of the individual rather than supporting oppression
Olympics and victimology poker no more coddling of the culture of
offense and the ethos of perpetual victimhood no microaggressions no
trigger warnings no safe spaces and no cultural appropriation my personal
history is that we escaped Lebanon under imminent threat of execution
could you imagine for someone with my personal history to watch the kind of
whining that I see in the West and what kind of offense you want to talk about
offense it’s an offense to the endless panoply of ways by which people truly
suffer around the world to have these coddled and Fant alized folks it’s it’s
a it’s an affront to what true suffering is that just society is rooted in the
ethos of meritocracy we are not social ants and the the point I’m making here
is that social ants eat Oh Wilson the famous evolutionary biologist and
entomologist said regarding socialism and communism he said wonderful system
wrong species okay so so communism is great and socialism is great when you’re
a social ant but for a species that does have hierarchies then maybe that’s not a
great thing promote an ethos of course intellectual
and political diversity all ideas beliefs and ideologies are open to
criticism I mean here I’m preaching to the converted no speech codes no hostile
environment and so on and so forth science reasoned logic and a commitment
to evidence based thinking Trump ideology hurt feelings and fashionable
anti science full intellectual gibberish thank you very much dr. sad will Nell take questions and
comments and again this mic doesn’t amplify it merely records if I can go
back to what you said about social justice math so my mom’s a teacher in
elementary school at BC and there’s a new curriculum it’s all online you can
see it and in the math section for all elementary school grades
it says part of the learning outcomes is integrate indigenous world views and
perspectives on mathematical concepts so is there any validity to this or is it
just nonsense without knowing the specific case I’m going to go with
nonsense so in other words if there were true indigenous knowledge that somehow
adds to the cursus of mathematical knowledge bring it on great but is there
some mathematical knowledge that exists outside of the axioms of mathematics
that only indigenous people are you know exposed to know as I say each of these
things I’m already counting the tally of death threats I’ll be receiving I guess
I’ll it’ll get a little disturbed with the Tribune all of this to universities
like administrators aren’t universities you know a lot of this is going on
within certain departments and faculties within universities and I think if you
find the people who are resistant to a lot of these ideas they’re probably more
in say science for example in other sorts of areas and isn’t there a danger
that we’re sort of tarnishing you know the institution as a whole you know with
these particular sorts of cases I mean you don’t need to have every single
person at a university suffer from this nonsense or every person being a
perpetrator of that nonsense for you to be concerned by it right how many
victims do we need before we sort of stand up and
an indigent would you know what being indignant right I mean think about it
and in the humanities and social sciences I mean there are now 40 years
of students that have been taught you know some of the most impenetrable fake
nonsense and I mean again think about the opportunity cost every single one of
these students could have done something unbelievably more productive with their
time and that to me is a is it gargantuan injury no I’m not saying not
to be concerned but you know if you have a cancer somewhere you don’t assume the
whole body ain’t needs to be treated and so there’s areas of the university a
that are cancerous and that what we should be careful about is targeting
those areas rather than saying you know the administration is the university for
exists for example or you’re the behavior of a group in a cultural
anthropology class is the University and and so on I teach psychology and I teach
a balanced approach to a heritability and you know socialization I never get
any objections from my students they aren’t up in arms you know because I’m
doing that and so on so again I just think we’ve got something that’s more of
a localized but very visible yeah sort of problem Alex so I want to thank you
for coming and speaking with all of us that was very unlike I’m a Concordia
graduate myself in communications in cultural studies so I do appreciate you
coming here to London what I want to ask you about is your thoughts on the
difference first part between Quebec institutions so french-speaking Quebec
institutions Concordia and McGill aside the Yukon udm and if you see that
because Quebec is more nationalistic in their culture and in their history do
you see that they are less prone to these ideological viruses you speak
about and you also often give the distinction between you know academic
institutions to the West versus places elsewhere but do you think that this is
more of a North American issue or do you see
epidemic in European schools in Asian schools and so forth so I think I think
the the what I call ostrich parasitic syndrome which is sort of the collection
of these maladies can afflict anybody anywhere so I was I was asked is this
something that afflicts people on the left more and my answer is no and in its
current manifestation yes because a lot of the voices are coming from the left
in this case but it could have so for example science denialism doesn’t happen
only on the left or on the right it’s a different form of science denialism that
happens right so if when it comes to for example denying evolution it’ll be the
people on the right who deny evolution they’re sort of the religious folks when
it comes to denying evolutionary psychology or the fact that there’s a
biological basis to our human nature it is people on the left so I so I don’t
think it is it is restricted to a geographical location or a political
aisle I think what makes this so problematic is that anybody anytime can
be and some of my very good friends some of the folks that you guys all know and
respect regrettably have now fallen victims to o-p-s I won’t mention names
but they have Stephen I want to avoid polemics from myself because this is
questions for you but I do have to follow up on the previous comment I’m a
psychologist and I think psychology has been poisoned I not as badly as
sociology obviously and not as badly as humanities but psychology has been
poisoned my research has been stifled I’ve been rejected for little grants
that should have been given me because I asked the wrong questions
I’m constantly worried but what I say but I also have a close relationship
with my colleagues in biology I’ve been acting chair of the biology department
and I tell them repeatedly they’re coming for you and they’re coming for
you so yes I mean humanities I mean education has always been lost and but I
think it’s wrong to think that it’s that it’s segregated to certain parts it’s a
matter of how advanced the the virus is could you comment on that well I think
so it’s kind of linked both of your comments
that you often hear this you know the neighborhood where I live I don’t see
that particular problem so clearly it must not exist I think you have to have
a wider view you don’t have a heart attack and you’re healthy until you drop
dead from a heart attack but three minutes earlier you said this cannot
affect me I’m perfectly fine so I think that notwithstanding the fact that you
may not have experienced it yourself I think it is something that we should all
be very concerned about I’ll just give you one example I comment about issues
outside of what we’re talking about here for example whether certain religious
ideologies that might be antithetical to every single liberal values that that we
hold dear anybody in this room whether it’s a good idea to have a increase of
those values in Canada right oftentimes I get tons of people who write to me and
say but but I don’t see any of the stuff you’re talking about I go buy my
tomatoes and I go to my daughters I don’t see it that’s a myopic view sort
of open the neighborhood to outside of your neighborhood it’s it’s coming it’s
over there it’s around the corner so I think you’re right I think you’re
fortunate that you haven’t seen it grant an earlier and earlier commenter was
saying don’t brand the whole University with the same brush my problem with that
attitude is when something like this we’re talking about today happens
there’s one or two there’s David Haskell and there’s some times in the past Clive
who would stand up and written mark now we rant and rave about it but but 99.9%
of the university would be silent about it Oh or support him and so in that
sense yes brand the whole university with that brush because they’re the ones
who are sitting by idly allowing it to happen without any objection without any
you know I’m looking at my own career and I’m you know hunkered down and I’m
not gonna say anything about it because I don’t want it to affect me yes it is a
university-wide problem you know it’s thank you for saying that because I
often receive emails from professors who privately say oh my god thank you so
much for what I say well why do you send me a private email why don’t you advert
position is it are you are you are you ashamed of your soup I mean am I on the
wrong side of the issues but that’s the problem there but in their silence
they’re complicit so you don’t have to have everybody at the University be a
rabid social justice warrior if you know that they exist and you do nothing about
it as far as I’m concerned you’re as guilty as they are Rick one thing I will
say about the as a comment to your ostrich parasitic syndrome is this year
when I just talked about things like sex differences in my introductory
psychology class just the way word spread and you know students who had
been you know quite close to me in terms of you know a good working relationship
just suddenly stopped talking to me it was real I open you to see how quickly
it takes over in the way and just how how intense the effect is so the guess
the question I have is the way I almost see it is how do we actually cure the
people who have been infected it – like the the only thing that seems to come to
mind is maybe try to do research on the deprogramming of cult members but I
wasn’t I wouldn’t wanted to know what your thoughts were like for the actual
people who are afflicted what we actually do for them I mean I truly
think that it’s a question of teaching people how to better think I mean I know
it sounds very grand but it’s it’s really amazing when you when you
challenge people for example if you say if someone says religion X is peaceful
okay I say okay well how did you arrive at this I challenge them right so it’s
kind of somewhat a Socratic process it’s sort of a appointed epistemological
approach it’s really teaching people to not be cognitively lazy you know most
people so as a consumer psychologist one of the things I study is you know when
you’re trying to simplify the information overload and your
environment you might use a simplifying heuristic like Japanese product
electronic products are great right that allows me to very quickly choose a
product without having to do more search right so most of us have a sort of an
innate desire to be cognitive misers but for some of these issues you can’t be a
cognitive misers you really have to ask people to get
engaged in building these neurological networks and so that’s how I am
I’m sure there are many strategies I try to convince people by the overwhelming
data that goes against their position and usually I’m able to to be quite
successful at it I have bill and Ava and Joanne and David and maybe we’ll have
some more time after that or we’ll see no problem that question what’s driving
this as a psychologist and sex researcher I often use the metaphor of
fetish the reactions to establish knowledge epistemology methodology
conversations such as the ones we’re having correspond to the characteristics
of a fetish reaction to a fetish object they’re highly selective they’re
uncontrollable and they’re exaggerated and I see people you know who are making
the pronouncements that we’re talking about the anti scientism the
post-modernism etc I think the dynamic is some kind of nearly orgasmic pleasure
the condemning the condemning of an established knowledge somehow confers
virtue on the individual and and pleasure what what do you think the
dynamic is well that’s that’s a great question I guess I’ll be talking about
some of the stuff in my book yeah let me let me go back to that slide I don’t I don’t think there’s a singular
explanation I think it’s a it’s a cocktail of different pathologies so for
example when it comes to the victimology mentality I’ve coined the term or the
malady collective Munchausen or collective Munchausen by proxy
right so for those of you who don’t know munchausen syndrome is a psychiatric
disorder whereby someone feigns a medical illness so that they
can garner sympathy and empathy munchausen syndrome by proxy is when you
take someone who’s under your care typically your biological child but it
could be a pet it could be an elderly parent and you harm them so that then
you can get the pleasure of the empathy and the sympathy by proxy well when I
see the victimology right it’s not I think therefore I am it’s I’m a victim
therefore I am so there is a form of collective Munchausen whereby the main
currency now is I get my strokes my pleasure
through being a victim either myself or by proxy I’m the social justice warrior
who’s helping those poor victims so that would be that would explain the
victimology mentality the post-modernism I actually think I have a not nearly as
sort of psychoanalytic explanation as yours so Jacques Derrida Michel Foucault
and Jacques Lacan and the rest of the French post modernists scammers I think
simply stumbled on a way to get tons of people to actually show up and in
complete reverence listen to their complete random gibberish and take them
seriously and as someone who studies peacocking behavior
I can peacock by buying an Aston Martin I can peacock by getting Harvard degrees
or I can peacock if you give me the opportunity of standing up in front of
adoring undergrads and saying that the transposed eigenvalue of my inner-self
right and all the rest of the bullshit and there’s a bunch of people who think
that because I’m engaging in what appears to be pseudo profundity I must
be saying something important and I get all the hot women on camp
so I think it’s really as simple as that they found an arbitrage profit to use an
MBA right they found a way to be worthy in the ecosystem why do the chemists
sorry well no I think it’s why are the chemists and the physicists and the
biologists getting all the attention we also are important in the humanities
right but it has to be something as impenetrable as what the mathematician
is doing and what the physicist is doing right and the way I achieve that is
instead of using mathematical symbols I use impenetrable complete random prose
there must be some profundity to it in the bullshit I want to come back to what
Lynn your comment Lindsey you’ve mentioned that this has been going on
stuff for 40 years in the years generations of students have been
bamboozled and wasted their time an hour long our tax money actually it’s a bit
longer than that for those of us who are older than you would have probably
started in the 60s I was I happen to be living in Paris in the 60s at the time
and I saw all of it okay this this horrible business is now moving to our
schools and this teaching of this gender stuff and now indigenous mathematics and
great 1b can teach children how to add and multiply and subtract but we’re
going to introduce all these extraneous elements into it the danger for our
societies is now really very bad and I just like you to comment on this
penetration now into the schools well in in when you’re trying to advertise to
children there are different countries have different laws but typically one
argument is that you you shouldn’t be allowed to target children let’s say
you’re selling cereal I’m gonna come to your point you shouldn’t be able to
target children and selling them cereals because they can’t build a
counter-argument to it so only when they’re able to have the cognitive
capacity to develop resistance to the persuasive message that’s when you’re
allowed right but can you think of one product that you’re allowed to
get your children straight out of the womb no religion right so I can’t sell
chewing gum to a child when when he’s eight or nine because you know he’s too
cognitively fragile because of my persuasive message but straight out of
the womb I could sell him my nonsense and nobody can do anything about it so
then to answer your question it exactly I need to get to that child at the point
where he’s got no defenses that’s when the buck is happening that’s as simple
and it’s not conspiratorial it really is what’s happening Joanna
I’d like to get back quickly to the slide where you talked about we don’t
necessarily have to go there but let’s just recapture when you were talking
about how convenient it is for it’s a various disciplines to say well people
act biological people act driven by culture when we’re trying to understand
their behavior and their sexuality but then the various inconsistencies a creep
in for example when people are seen as purely biological purely animals driven
by biology when we’re considering for example ecological questions so my my
quick that’s my quick comment my question to you is do you see a way that
we can bring a lot of these then we can bring the inconsistencies out and start
bringing a discussion in which we’re actually considering people as as both
more holistically so that those who want to condemn let’s say a people’s
ecological behavior don’t get away with saying well we’re just like bacteria
when those who are saying well we’re purely social constructs get away with
it a moment before that evolutionary psychologists don’t argue that we are
strictly biological beings rather the formal position is what’s called
interactionism in other words no evolutionary psychologists worth his
salt doesn’t recognize that for most traits that matter we are inextricable
mix of our biology and our environment absolutely but that’s not what we hear
right so evolutionists or from or from the ideologues from philosophy so the
inconsistency that I was talking about is that people who are often let’s say
if we’re looking at ecological arguments so for example population is spreading
too quickly right so human population growth must be stopped people are seen
as multiplying like bacteria are multiplying like other Malthusian
organisms right that are going to multiply as long as there are resources
for them and then there’s going to be a population crash right well as the other
perspective that you were discussing earlier is is a perspective of more more
culturally driven so all I’m trying to say is that I wish we could build from
the Manama logical networks that would be more visible that we could then apply
to problems across this so one of the night I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned
this publicly so maybe this is as they’re taping me maybe this will be the
time to do it so one of the projects that I’m hoping to start is a website
where people can submit their nomological network for some phenomenon
so that that way after a certain time period
you know instead of looking at it’s not a literature review right the normal
logical network is not a literature review it’s it’s a completely different
way of thinking it’s what is all the data that I need to have that would
render this argument unassailable and so imagine now if you could go to this
website and you want to look at pornography the evolutionary roots of
pornography well there is a normal optical network that exists so I’m
hoping to do exactly what you’re asking for and that’s one of my next projects
David thanks for your talk dad what I was wondering about is well first of all
just by way of background so when I study religious groups and they’re gonna
hire they’re gonna hire a pastor they have ideological conformity so it’s a
board they’re gonna hire a pastor they’re not gonna hire anybody who
doesn’t have their same ideological background and really so now I look at
your slide where you show me that in communications for example they
don’t have anybody else except those who are like-minded right so it’s
inconceivable that they would ever hire somebody else outside their tribe Yeah
right so we’re never going to have that
diversity of opinion so my question is knowing that there are certain programs
that are ideological tribes and they are absolutely hostile to outsiders how do
we ever how do we change that yeah it’s a tough guy mean the the sort of the the
vague response to that but it might sound gimmicky is I tell people that to
the extent that we are innately tribal right so we are coalitional animals we
do see the world as Blue Team and Red Team you know whatever try to then
instantiate your desire to belong to the tribe of truth now we can get into what
this truth mean but in other words don’t let me give you a specific example I
often get someone who writes to me and says well you know I watch all your
stuff I read all your stuff I can’t tell are you conservative are you liberal are
you this are you that and my answer is I’m none of those things I’m a one idea
at a time person so sometimes you’ll on the death penalty for example I’m
someone who thinks we don’t have to get into all this now but I believe that if
you are a serial rapist of children and we have ten your DNA in the the rectum
of ten children I feel no moral difficulty of executing
you okay on that dimension then you would think orgy disguise right-wing
when it comes to social issues I’m about as liberal as they come you would think
I’m a social justice warrior I mean sort of speak right so I’m an ideas guy
Ayelet whatever cognitive consistency that exists within me allow me to take
positions I don’t belong to left I don’t belong to classical liberal I don’t
belong a so what I would love for people to do is foster that vent simply take
piecemeal ideas at a time and then using whatever moral compass you have form an
opinion that’s hopefully informed that’s it a few more questions gather or you
okay good all right well Christopher then yeah so
you talked a lot about anti science and all that kind of stuff
from I’m in psychology and the vibe I get now is that it’s starting to
actually happen under the guise of science with for example in personality
psychology and social psychology there’s benevolent sexism and all that kind of
stuff and so can I can I explain what that is before you give you a sure and
actually I have written several articles great yeah so in the neverending desire
to find sexism everywhere it turns out that the standard form of sexism that
you would all be familiar with and that you would condemn is called hostile
sexism but there’s another form of pernicious sexism
that’s called benevolent sexism so if you are got long to a woman that’s
benevolent sexism if you open the door to a woman that’s benevolent sexism if
she is being attacked by three men and you come to save her now you’re in a
real difficult position do I save her and then I’m a sexist or do I pretend I
didn’t hear her screaming and I could at least avoid the appellation of being a
sexist so that’s what benevolent sexism is folks go ahead yep so you talk a lot
of it like the solution to what we can do as citizens and and every end as
academics and teaching but now since it’s actually gone into peer review and
I think the benevolent sexism scale has like three thousand citations something
ridiculous and and a lot of it isn’t very critical I I feel like as academics
and as researchers we can actually challenge that through science since
instead of just accepting it as accepted science even though it’s total crap yeah
so your question is what can we do to fight against this fight against this in
other words don’t you know Irish I mean really I receive enumerable emails from
people what can I do what can I do just you don’t have to have a huge platform
your professor says something that completely defies logic challenge them
respectfully politely with civility right but challenge them don’t be quiet
don’t don’t do what regrettably Lindsey had to do which is feel that she
couldn’t speak your you’re a professor at a meeting someone says something that
is contrary to human dignity challenged them on it everybody has a voice in this
battle its ideological trench warfare just get engaged from the smallest
possible way to the biggest possible way Joanne I know that this is to talk about
what’s happening in the universities but it’s really starting in JK it’s starting
in elementary school with the victimology that everybody has to get a
trophy nobody can fail I know in 1992 I was fighting cold language with my
children I quit my job rented a church and ran a school for three years or my
middle child would have been illiterate now I would be doing the same thing over
the sex ed but now we have 30% of our children in grade six are not competent
in math or reading there is something wrong here and what we’re teaching them
is you are a victim and you d you you warrant being praised for everything
they teach phonics they teach the initial consonant and anything you guess
for that word they tell you it’s a great job even though every word is wrong so I
think that what this all is happening now is just a manifestation of what has
been going on for many many years starting with JK Daniel I have a
question I’m a PhD student computer science in particular I find it
interesting with my peers often times especially with say some controversies
involving the Google memo yes I find a lot of my peers don’t speak out in favor
of the conclusions that were in that memo but and oftentimes they’re very
intelligent people but they don’t speak up like on the other side but then often
I’ll find that faculty within my department not necessarily my department
but in other universities that have been us been a part of they oftentimes will
not like that would be the only side you’ll hear is the one against the
domore memo right now I always say I don’t like to come oh this is involving
sex differences and the demographics you find within the tech industry so I can
maybe I can summarize it for the people who don’t know because I actually knew
about it so just to give you the background to
that story I had been invited to the Google main campus to give a lecture but
what’s part of what they call the talks at Google series and my talk was on how
my you know evolutionary psychology stuff right and then a few days after
that the Google memo broke so the rumor on the internet was it was someone who
had been at my talk who had been emboldened by it and and so then before
the whole thing breaks out I was in contact with James the more it’s for him
to come on my show I was in California on vacation with my family but then the
the Google people who are who were fans were invited me said if you speak to
James the more we can guarantee you what’s going to happen to your lecture
meaning that it would never be posted and so we took the very sort of
pragmatic decision of holding off our conversation until after Google had
posted my talk but the fact that we even have to engage in this mental calculus
is extraordinary this is supposed to be Google but they do no evil and they were
engaging in evil yes so my question is and since I’m kind of early on in my
academic career but I obviously like to go to the academic route I’m one of
these theory people I love my theoretical computer science do you have
any advice for any PhD students that really are wanting to help fix this
problem whether fixing is the right word yeah and whether it be short term or
long term any advice for save researchers and that
that want to fight in this battle any advice for them that they could use now
because right now obviously if say for example if I were to be very openly
against some of the policies that are out right now especially in CS
departments yes for example there are one example now it’s not usually talked
about as often as there’s for example women only scholarships and a lot of CSS
departments which I find yeah but anyways my main point is what advice can
you give for PhD students that wants to maybe find a tenure-track position if
they’re one that exists I got it well too
avoid job security you know I’ve always conflicted when people ask me that
question because I understand the pragmatic reality of people having real
concerns but those concerns arise not just as you as a PhD student if now I’m
an assistant professor should I speak or wait till I’m tenured now when I am
tenured should I speak or wait Abdulla half full professor
now I’m full professors should I wait or until I have my chair professorship now
I’m sure professor but I think I have a good shot at the Nobel Prize should I
speak or wait until that well now I’m dead should I speak or write so my point
is this is there’s a in ecological economics some of you may be familiar
with something called tragedy of the Commons right so let me just briefly
mention it for those of you who don’t know suppose I’ve got a plot of land and
they’ve got ten farmers and we all agree gentlemen agreement none of us is going
to use that plot of land for our cattle to graze on it because we need it to
recover right now each of us thinks well you know what if I cheat on that
agreement I get my cattle to graze on the land but the other nine guys will be
super honorable that’s the ideal outcome because I still get to do what I want
and all the others will be good of course the tragedy of the Commons is
that every single one falls under that premise and then we all cheat and the
whole thing goes to hell how do we how do we apply this to what you’re saying
so the tragedy of the Commons you know I don’t have to speak because I worry
about my career but let him speak let God speak let Jordan Peterson speak
that’s some other guy who puts his neck out speak because I got to worry about
my PhD I got to worry about my sis I got no if we all were able to develop the
term that you heard me use in the Canadian Senate testicular fortitude and
speak in unison the problem would be resolved very quickly but because we’re
all bound to our myopic careerist interests then it ends up being that the
bouncer could keep coming at you rise up speak Matthew then cassia and then Phil
and I’m afraid we’ll have to end it there
Matthew two quick questions so Nick and I have tried to put the Chicago
principles into Queens and one of the things I found early on is getting our
initial signers was you’d have people willing to sign but they wouldn’t post
about it on their Facebook so expanding on this taking a principled stance
versus the utilitarian stance up you know
I’d ask the guy it’s like you can you sign this great you’d sign it and then
they wouldn’t post about it’s like you know you have to why wouldn’t you sign
it but you know also your your point about you know needing to take a
principled stance do you have any sort of specific advice on identifying when
it’s better to take a utilitarian stance and when it’s better to take a
principled stance and then the second one are you and then I wake you up in
the ontario school system so you know I’d say both you know I graduated high
school in 2008 but I would say is you know you talk about being ready to
defend yourself as a child talking about the cereal analogy I would say we were
never really taught critical thinking from a true like you know a true say a
first-year University logic course in in high school and you say would you say
that you have any comments on the sufficiency of the school system not
teaching basic logic so the second part yes there’s a complete lacunae of that
so I don’t know what else to add other than we need to foster greater critical
thinking that’s really the point in my next book your first comment when should
you be more utilitarian versus principled it really is on a case by
case you know I sometimes I’ll post something where I’m really angry because
no one is rising up you know get engaged and then someone will write say oh but
it’s easy for you to say because you’re tenured but I’ve got two young kids and
I’m still a assistant professor right but I received 3,000 death threats
nobody knows you so who’s suffering more right in other
words there is no way for you to get engaged in war this is war this is
ideological war while being guaranteed that there’ll be no harm to you right
did you go to the invasion of Normandy and say but I’ll only sign up if you
could absolutely again because you know I’ve got young kids because I’ve got my
uncle because I’ve got my PhD no you went knowing that you might die so
that’s the kind of courage we need to foster if we all stood up together not
worried about our idiosyncratic concerns and fought this horrible monster these
idea pathogens it will be resolved quickly if not it’s only going to
continue for the foreseeable future cassia
I have a question I have a question regarding this very interesting graph
and it’s a conclusion to which I’ve kind of arrived on my own but I obviously
don’t have the empirical data to back it up so why would you say I’m a humanities
background why would you say that there’s a greater like what explanation
is given that there for the greater ratio of Democrat to Republican leaning
in those areas yes rather in the humanities and not in engineering
because yeah I’ve had a conversation with a math professor in which she says
what’s all just you guys all you guys do is opinion you guys talk about opinions
No so could you speak – yes I think it’s because a lot of those fields end up
being driven a lot more by an ethos of activism rather than an ethos of
knowledge right so what I mean by that is sociology inherently could be
perfectly scientific right there are very serious sociologists a quantitative
mathematical sociologist that do very very elaborate beautiful scientific work
they’re not driven by activism there is some phenomenon that they’re interested
in studying at the sociological level and they apply the weaponry of the
scientific method to study it the problem is that in many of the fear
those fields what drop the eat the driving engine that his own death of the
person is not the pursuit of knowledge it’s the promulgation of activism and
ideologies and therefore that’s why you’re gonna get that lopsided stuff
it’s more difficult in business or in neuroscience or in engineering to have
thus lopsidedness because the people who go into this can come in all varieties
there they’re really to advance a field of knowledge if you go into sociology
you’ve already self selected yourself as an activist that’s the problem
I forgot the sillim was on the list so I’m not man my man thank you God your
your your slide on the various pathogens on the one who had that you know yeah
that’s the one the one you just repent by on this one post-modernism oh that
hurt what what’s up yeah this one Don what
what surprised me or or or what I found missing gap maybe you have a good reason
for it is that I would say that all the box in the circle that you put up our
particular description of the viruses but there is a metal virus afflicting
the West and the university is not outside of the society and the metal
wires afflicting the West is multiculturalism yeah everything falls
in that box it’s it’s not on this slide just because I couldn’t fit it away when
but the the little idea patches is greater than this one I’m with you when
our prime minister says yes soon after election to New York Time
magazine the Canada has no core culture there is no mainstream the result is all
of this and much more and we the Canadian people elect him resoundingly
yes I guess the what when I put cultural relativism that’s related to the
multicultural idea right because that that’s how you you promulgate that yeah
and now for our final question and thanks very much for your patience Phil
my pleasure I took great pride in one of those graphs but are the the ratios that
yeah my question is I don’t know whether is basically I well let’s start I’m
finishing Martin Gilbert’s book on the history of Judaism under Islam yeah and
one of the things that strikes me as that a religion is a kind of virus and
but but also it seems to be an inherent part of how humans have evolved did it
have some survival value at stage yes great question so if you if you’ll
forgive me I just going to get a bit technical with your with the answer when
you’re studying a cultural form let’s say music art
religion from an evolutionary perspective there are several ways that
you could study it one way is to argue that that form has adaptive value right
so it’s an adaptation I’ll explain in a second okay another way is to argue that
it is an exaptation and an adaptation is that something confers either survival
or reproductive benefits so in the case of religion an adaptive argument for
religion would be but and this is the argument that David Sloan Wilson an
evolutionary biologist a good friend of mine has made in a book called Darwin’s
Cathedral if a group that is religious has greater community greater cohesion
greater demarcation between us versus them and if that confers survival
advantage to the group more so than a group that lacks in religiosity that
would be an adaptive argument for religion others are you know there is no
adaptation to religion rather religion is an exaptation the key proponent of
that idea as a anthropologist by name of Pascal ye who was on my show and the
argument there is that an exaptation is a byproduct of evolution for example
the color of our the color of our skeletal system whatever it is is not
due to the fact that that is an adaptation it’s a byproduct that’s a
path dependency right so so then applying it to religion we are for
example a coalitional animal we already have the neuronal system to view the
world as us-versus-them that neural system already exists
religion piggybacks on it on it right right Abrahamic languages all have there
are the Jews the Gentiles the the believers and the kafar the right they
are the ones who are going with Jesus and the rest of us who are going to burn
in hell right so there’s a very clear demarcation between us versus them so
the exaptation argument is that there is no adaptive value to religion it’s just
something it uses its Mima plex it’s it’s viral qualities to to latch on
systems already exist and I’m not sure where I
stand on it because both arguments are reasonably compelling to me thank you
very much

36 thoughts on “Gad Saad – A Tsunami of Maladies Afflicting the Soul of Our Universities – SAFS 2018

  1. I believe, listening to Gad Saad, that ‘we’ are beginning to understand the lunacy better and better. This gives hope.

  2. No. This is just a talk between leftists. Who is smarter to advocate his or her thesis or ideology.

  3. Millennial's are raised by helicopter parents, sequestered in our universities, and released into a dog eat dog (capitalist) real world they don't understand. They understand "you work, I eat", as it's all they have ever known. And they rightly fear the mystery of "I keep what I earn," because it's outside their life experience. This is why the majority of millennial's believe socialism is better than capitalism. What a screwed up world!

  4. What a wonderfully rich discussion of the maladies affecting our universities! I'm watching this for the first time nearly 5 months after it was posted. Don't know how I missed it earlier. Shocked to see that at the moment I am posting, there have been less than 3000 views. This video should go viral! It should be required watching in university classes across the nation. Especially, I like to imagine a collection of university administrators from across the country watching this, or receiving the same presentation directly from Dr. Saad. Sadly, I suppose it will never happen.

  5. Seems 20 years ago when I thought was a notorious spawn point camper I was in reality a social justice warrior.

  6. What a superbly enlightening talk. Further to that, what a room this academic was talking to. This is what ' university' should be about. As a person of some IQ, that the public school system failed, I revere true intellectual thinking. I truly hope that these intellectuals can push back against the theologian dogma that my offspring will be subjected to. I have 17 grandchildren who may be physiologically maneuvered into the post modernist/feminist warped sense of entitlement. The parents of these young people are grounded and hard working, my only hope is that the focus of the true family will show through. Making rational,sentient human beings.

  7. 6:28 If you're using the same 4 point system we used when I was in university, Western wins with a 6-5 score…
    Have Fs have somehow become worth something?

  8. The West is already to rich to survive and I have the chart to prove it below.

    There is still hope for New Zealand, Iceland, and USA. Those are the only rich nations with fertility rates to reproduce themselves. Canada is well on its way to evaporation. Here is the fertility chart.

  9. In relation to the very last question about religion, could religion not seem to function adaptively sometimes and the 'byproduct/ piggy back method' at other times… I use my legs to walk and kick – perhaps this falls into some primary secondary trait pass-on-ability. Or perhaps cultural software can gamechange more quickly hmmm or just seem to work until its undeniably inappropriate and causes bother. These tussles remind of the surface of sea as it takes form under different weather. Thankx.

  10. Victimhood as status and power. … Has anyone thought this ideology through to some obvious conclusions? … Rapists and pedophiles are just empowering others.

  11. Are we nearing the end of mankind ? … this world is NUTS ! … OMG !
    Thank You Dr. Saad for this !

  12. Thank you so much for uploading. I'm retiring from my uni teaching job two years early because I simply can no longer handle the current direction taken by the uni authorities. The kids who grew up screaming at their parents, being told that 'everybody's a winner … everybody's special … impossible is nothing (sic)' are now enrolling, diversity and inclusion are pushed at the expense of merit and educators are having to bear the brunt. So, to all the SJWs and poor little snowflakes out there, good luck and good night.

  13. I've had a similar experience. I've had to fire social workers (masters degree) who do not know how to diagnose or provide treatment. Years later I see MA and PhD who do not know how to do follow up questions or conduct a basic interview. What they DO know how to do is instill a sense of entitlement. The education cottage industry has done nothing to promote the rigor of higher education. It's embarrassing.

  14. Excellent…………… You can not miss this……………. REASON, REASON and more REASON………………….

  15. Looking for the Peterson/Saad Internet Accredited University for Humanities and Social Science. When completed we will begin the deconstruction of the current neo Marxist system.

  16. We need more people that use their brains. The people that are on the other side of this are fully aware of the endgame, but they expect the rest to bow down and submit.

  17. RE: Last statement/question: I think that it's sad that so any people in academia have discounted religion in the name of "science" but don't understand or accept that there's many things that can't be explained by science. A person that rejects religion could never experience a supernatural event that would/could confirm the existence of a higher power because they never truly believed in the first place. Many also claim to be "open-minded" but are close minded when it comes to unexplainedable events and experiences. It's a mistake to claim all examples of proof are just a coincidence because it's untestable. What could possibly be testable is overall happiness. If it was confirmed then how do they explain it?

  18. Even in minorities, those Marxists freaks who controls most,
    Universities, Media, etc… are imposing their ways of thinking and
    destroying (or trying to, like for Lindsay's case) the career of those
    who dare disagree with their Dogmas and Ideologies. Very dangerous !

  19. The cancer analogy is good, but not for the reason the man saying it thought: Sure, if you have cancer in one area of the body, you don't target the whole body, but cancer in one single area of the body very often debilitates the entire organism, and quite often kills the entire organism.

  20. This was extremely interesting. As usual, Dr. Saad teaches. He doesn't preach. That is the message that has to start pervading not only universities but as he says. society in general. Justin should watch this video. The questions were excellent too.

  21. I don’t mind Gad Saad. But that title is just too obnoxious. You don’t need to use flowery language to sound smart

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