Citationism

One of the irritating things about reading anything that strives to be academic is the thicket of citations throughout the text. It’s not just the end notes and footnotes, but the constant references to the work of others. Often, the text reads like a summary of the work in the field, rather than something original. Just as often, the text has the feel of a paper turned in by a teenager, trying to prove they did their homework. It is not just bad writing, it is a waste of time. It is disrespectful of the reader.

It’s not just a stylistic thing, but a reflection of something that has happened in the intellectual classes of American society. It used to be that an intellectual mastered a subject in order to build on it. The point of his labor was not to prove he had read everyone in the field. The point was to find the gaps in his field and use the source material as a foundation for filling some of those gaps. In other words, the academic added to his field, rather than maintained it like a curator of a museum.

This shift from speculation to memorization reflects the shift in the culture, not just the education system. As a managerial system came to dominate the upper reaches of society, the education system became an exam system. You pass through the system in order to accumulate credentials that open doors within the managerial elite. The system began to select against people who question the current order. Instead, the system selects for those most likely to support and defend the system.

Of course, as the mass media moved from being a vocation to a profession, it began to adopt the habits seen in other areas of the managerial class. Commentary on current events is less about explaining what happened and more about the writer showing they memorized all the things that will be on the test. The opinion sections of news sites are echo chambers, where each writer salts their text with the latest fads, as if they are writing an essay for their high school social studies class.

The banality is not confined to Progressives. The so-called intellectual dark web is just as dull and cautious, but decorated with some risqué phrases picked up from dissident politics. Here’s a story from Claire Lehmann about the Australian election. She is sort-of from Australia, but the post reads like it was written by someone, who knows everything about the place from a text book. There are no insights or speculations, just a long proof that the writer has read all of the approved source material and passed the test.

She seems particularly proud of herself for using the term “champagne socialist” as if that is a catchy insight. It’s just a different ways of saying “limousine liberal” which was popular with conservatives in the 1980’s. Again, we see that strange echo. The New Left in the West is a weird museum exhibit on the 1970’s, while the New Right is nostalgia for the 1980’s. We have a generation of public intellectuals, who memorized the political fights of their parent’s generation, but have no idea what they meant.

The fetish for the citation also has crept into elite commentary.  In books about current events, writers fill the pages with references to other people’s ideas. Even in op-ed style pieces, there’s every effort made to name-drop and preen about having read some famous person in the field. Instead of trying to enlighten the reader, or even just inform, the modern writer is like the kid in the front of class, furiously waving her hand saying, “I know! I know!” Everyone is trying to show they did the required assignment.

When people stop looking for gaps in their own knowledge or in the prevailing orthodoxy, they no longer have much to say. The lack of curiosity used to be the end of an academic career. It was when the old guy was put out to pasture, gaining the “emeritus” label. Today, a promiscuous lack of curiosity is a requirement for anyone entering the media, the academy or the official public space. As a result, we have a class of academics and public intellectuals, who are a circus of banality.

Worse yet, and this gets back to the citation fetish, there is no effort to make existing ideas accessible. The other role of the intellectual is to explain complex things in a way that regular people can grasp. That’s both a public service and proof you have mastered the material. In an effort to prove to teacher that they have done their homework, modern writing is so junked up with citations, references and insider jargon, it is unreadable to anyone outside the field. Much of it is just unreadable.

Perhaps this is just another manifestation of the end phase of a society. Like an old man, who no longer has the energy or courage to question authority, a society gets old and loses its will to question. Instead of sitting around looking at scrap books and telling war stories, the intellectual class reboots old ideas from prior generations and repeats the same things over and over. It’s not that these people were trained wrong. It’s that they are the result of a culture with nothing left to say, so they just repeat their greatest hits.

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BadThinker
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BadThinker

So Xirl Science is basically the result of the confluence of this love of citation, the love of the self, and the constant need to show how woke one is?

Member

I got a master’s in a stem field at the turn of the century and we went over a lot of the old papers that were seminal in my field. Some of them had taken decades of research to finally publish one paper but these papers were interesting and well-written and they actually had an effect on the field and the world. Now it’s publisher or perish. No one has time to do any research even if they had the inclination and if by some chance they had both no one has the courage. Side note. This is sad news… Read more »

Lineman
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Lineman
Moran ya Simba
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Moran ya Simba

I fear you re right. SA whites are THE canaries now…

Moran ya Simba
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Moran ya Simba

” Some of them had taken decades of research to finally publish one paper but these papers were interesting and well-written and they actually had an effect on the field and the world.”

I know exactly what you mean. Modern papers, SO much horse manure….

Wolf Barney
Guest
Wolf Barney

I dunno, I was kind of thinking the opposite, at least when it comes to race. For example, Amy Harmon of the NYT, recently denounced the great James Watson about his racial views, saying his views are widely discredited by experts, without providing any citations or footnotes. You see that all the time, the thought that racial differences aren’t real and in fact, are so ridiculous we don’t need to provide proof.

Da Booby
Guest

“Like an old man, who no longer has the energy or courage to question authority, a society gets old and loses its will to question. ”

More like an old man who, in the 1960s, didn’t have the energy to discipline his children. Today the children run the house. They are not citing academic sources: they are repeating modern nursery rhymes:

“White supremacy.”, “Corporate greed”, “Women’s struggles against patriarchy.”

It makes for great fun, especially for the pampered white daughters of corporate worms.

Except today it’s called “education”.

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

Definitely a major factor in what we are facing today Brother…

c matt
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c matt

An exception to the above is the law profession. Citation to authority is the lifeblood of it (at least in litigation), but its purpose is not to advance knowledge per se, but to convince a judge that X issue has already been decided a particular way, hopefully by another Court to which he owes deference.

Tacitus
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Tacitus

Quality doesn’t matter in academia, only quantity. That includes legitimate fields like computer science.

The tendency to repeat and copy past work of others is very feminine and child like. My thesis is that the abundance of citation (which most definitely is a thing) is the product of, among other things, extreme neoteny that we now have, and hyper feminization of our society. Women have to seek consensus before doing things, over citing is a subtle way of signaling that the community agrees (argumentum ad populum).

Compsci
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Compsci

Tacitus, I tend to agree, but also disagree. It was not uncommon in review of candidates for faculty positions to have their submitted resumes penciled such that often *only* articles in a few respected journals were given credit and examined. It was a given that folks published everything they could—that’s the name of the game in research oriented universities. But quantity never got you noticed in and of itself to my perception. Listing of grants received and amounts were even more important.

Tacitus
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Tacitus

Compsci: I can only go off of my own experiences in academia; what I noticed was that the *number* of top/second tier publications was the best guarantor of when your advisor would let you defend, and students were starting to game that system (but yes, to your point, flooding an application for candidacy with low tier spam would get you laughed at). In my particular subfield (architectures) there were holdouts in the quality realm, but they are losing ground. It was also one of the lowest in estrogen, which was nice. I can also only speak from the perspective of… Read more »

Compsci
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Compsci

I’m certain it depends on the type of institution one belongs to as to how you are judged wrt your vita. Crap journals and crap research abound and you are correct, at a certain level you can’t game the system and quantity of low quality will work against you. That was my point, at my department, it did work against you—or at least not for you. And I’m certain it does at all of the top 20 or so of private and public universities. Grantsmanship is a product of the Fed’s pouring money into the Universities at prodigious rates. When… Read more »

Moran ya Simba
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Moran ya Simba

Excellent comment

Tykebomb
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Tykebomb

I dont know what you’re talking about. Academics are hip, cool, and question everything. They are totally against the patriarchal, white-supremacist, hetero-normative system. The have completely original thoughts about it.

Da Booby
Guest

“They are totally against the patriarchal, white-supremacist, hetero-normative system. The have completely original thoughts about it.”

And of course each of these hipsters came to these conclusions after decades of sequestered, independent thought, not to mention sleepless nights engaged in painstaking research, deduction, and analysis, which somehow culminated for them at the age of 19. An age age from which they will likely never mature in terms of their worldviews and narratives, unlike the “uneducated” public.

The girl with far-away eyes
Guest
The girl with far-away eyes

Christopher Hitchens was the worst for this

Member
Felix_Krull

As the NYT once noted, Hitchens is a splendid writer, but he’s too quick to venture into French in search of le mot juste.

A Postcard From the Volcano
Guest

OT (but also relevant, in a way), in the midst of the latest teeth-gnashing Abortion Two Minute Hate, it appears that erstwhile presidential candidate Pete Buttplug (D-Collegeworld) has pledged that he will only appoint judges who promise in advance to unconditionally uphold Roe v. Wade, n’importe quoi. Think of that. This guy wants to nominate judges who explicitly promise /in advance/ that they will rule on a given case in a certain way, before they have even heard the case. Needless to say, this is the exact opposite of what judges do, or are at least supposed to do. He… Read more »

Lorenzo
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Lorenzo

Remember when it was only snake-handling fundamentalist Christian fanatics who imposed abortion litmus tests on judicial appointments?

A Postcard From the Volcano
Guest

That’s just begging the question. The real problem is that our abortion “law” is not law at all, it is mere judicial fiat. We never had a robust public debate, followed by a grand symposium in Congress, followed by the passing of relevant legislation, whether pro or con, subject to a Presidential veto, subject to a Congressional override. Whatever the outcome of that process, THAT would have been the genuine Law of the Land. Instead, nine wizards gazed into their crystal balls and parsed the Magic Document by reading it backwards in upside-down acrostics and secret code, and “discovered” imaginary… Read more »

Compsci
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Compsci

Whether for or against, that SCOTUS decision was my first (remembered) step in my thinking culminating to where I am today in thought. So in a bizarre way, I am grateful.

But that was what 1973! Damn I’m a slow learner. 🙁

Member

I have strong opinions regarding abortion (anti), but I have to take the stance that abortion is a complete distraction at this moment in politics and the history of the nation.

Either we take control of our nation (or a remaining piece of it), in which case we can do whatever we want regarding abortion, or we continue on the path to becoming Brazil, in which case who gives a damn, our voices won’t decide anything.

Citizen of a Silly Country
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Citizen of a Silly Country

Agreed. Abortion isn’t the hill to die on right now. For many white women, this is the hill that they will die on politically. They won’t budge, and it keeps their thinking in the past. It’s hard enough to get middle and upper middle-class white women on our side given the endless propaganda that they ingest daily. Let’s not make the task impossible by throwing abortion into the mix.

Member

It makes you wonder whether all these radical anti-abortion bills popping up are the result of stupidity or a deliberate attempt to undermine the right.

A B
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A B

I don’t wonder. The timing is too good.

The Last Stand
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The Last Stand

The problem is we are not voting our way out of this even with white women on our side. Demographics will work against us, just slower. Given that women do not respect weakness, would caving on the issue really make them less hostile anyway?

If they are not having white babies, what is the point of getting white women in our movement?

I can see your point about abortion being a distraction, especially when conservatives use it to prove D3R. I guess maintaining an anti-abortion stance as a secondary issue is the way to go.

Calsdad
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Calsdad

Fully funded abortions for all females except for white women is the position we should be advocating for. We can just sell it as more wokester BS by claiming that white women shouldn’t be sponging off the POC to fund their abortions.

Once all the POC females sign up for their free abortions – then starting putting in quotas. “Every POC wymyn must have 5 abortions before their 35th birthday so they’re not supporting the patriarchy!!”.

If it’s free – a significant portion of them will go for it.

Ursula
Guest
Ursula

37-year-old Mayor Pete also said he wants to abolish the electoral college and not a peep of protest from the audience or host (Chris Wallace on Fox’s town hall). And he’s held out as a brilliant guy. Outrageous! The GOP has nothing to offer us, and they do not want to help Trump get re-elected, so, in addition to how great the economy is, we’re going to hear nothing but abortion talk from them to keep us occupied. So boring! Maybe Republicans were behind that crazy legislation in NY allowing late-term abortions, so as to spark the issue and prompt… Read more »

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Abortion and the electoral college are mostly not argued on their own merits. They are largely totems held up by the leadership of the Left, so that their acolytes may make protestations of fealty to the Leftist cause.

Member

totems held up by the leadership of the Left

And the Right.

Din C. Nuthin
Guest
Din C. Nuthin

If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one. If a liberal doesn’t like guns, he wants them banned for everyone.
If a conservative doesn’t like Chick-fil-A, he doesn’t eat there. If a liberal doesn’t like Chick-fil-A, he wants them all shut down.
If a conservative doesn’t like abortions, she doesn’t get one. If a liberal doesn’t like abortions, she wants them to be illegal. No…wait…

Badthinker
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Badthinker

If a conservative doesn’t want to be murdered….

Lineman
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Lineman

Evil doesn’t want anyone protecting the innocent…

Citizen of a Silly Country
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Citizen of a Silly Country

Maybe they’re just afraid of the answers that they’ll find if they challenge the current orthodoxy. As you have noted, the Age of Ideology is giving way to the Age of Demographics. They’re stuck in the Ideological Age because it’s what they know. They’re comfortable there and, of course, could get fired questioning it. But I think that it’s more than that. It’s frightening to think about just what the Demographic Age means. Besides the fact that you’d lose your job as an academic talking about it, the Demographic Age feels very simplistic and violent compared to the Ideological Age.… Read more »

Lineman
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Lineman

Exactly right Brother…It all boils down to one thing can an idea people survive a tribal/evil people without banding together and driving them out…I say no they can’t but it seems that it’s the flavor of they day to debate ideas while the other side is planning to wipe our very existence from the earth…Makes me furious that we can’t rectify that…

Yves Vannes
Member

Conformity and an innate lack of wonder and curiosity have become commonplace in academia. A not insignificant part of this is also due to the expansion of cargo-cult credentialism. There are a lot of dumb, some of them very dumb, PhDs running around on campus these days.

Less than 2 generations ago 15% to 20% of graduating HS students went on to university. Today it’s approaching 70%.

Add to that the sorts of people acting as gatekeepers the higher you go in the academy.

Compsci
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Compsci

Yves, correct. We need to get back to basics. First basic, what is a 4 year college education about and for whom? To major in a rigorous STEM field requires and IQ about 120 or so. That’s 10% or so of the population. OK, so there are folks attending over and above the 10%. I’ll not get too upset at the 15-20%—but more than that, and the standards must inevitable decline. And that’s what we have today—remedial high school education, if that—in our university system. Waste of resource.

kleist
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kleist

She uses the phrase “champagne socialist” because it is the accepted idiom used to characterize the phenomenon in Australia and the other Commonwealth countries. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champagne_socialist

The Babe
Member
The Babe

The worst is when soft subjects, like literature, ape the citation-heavy style of research papers.

I remember reading some literature “papers” in college. It was just as awful as Xirl science.

But I had the good fortune of finding much older books at the library and at the second-hand bookstores, which was just “smart guys saying smart things about literature,” without any footnotes or systematic subversive programs, and it was an absolute joy.

Rogeru
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Rogeru

To be a tenured professor of literature at a small, rural college far from the limelight sounds like a great job to me.

The Last Stand
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The Last Stand

This is more evidence of the fact that leftists always project their flaws onto other people. They call their opponents fascists who as we all know are unthinking, conformist robots.

In reality, blitzkrieg relied heavily on initiative on the part of noncoms and junior officers who understood the big picture in which their orders werere given.

This why they squealed like stuck pigs over the NPC meme. They were forced to face their own flaws.

Matt
Guest
Matt

The root cause is how promotions are decided has evolved badly.

Now it’s not did you move your field forward. It’s how often you publish, which journals and conferences accept your papers, AND how often you are cited.

Citing everything is a form of pay it forward.

The Last Stand
Guest
The Last Stand

On a more optimistic note, this tendency towards consensus and conformity will doom our opponents. They will be the French Army in 1940. Numerically superior, but unable to adapt their obsolete tactics and strategies.

Sextus Empiricus
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Sextus Empiricus

I am currently pursuing a doctoral degree, so this topic is painfully real to me as I must read the current academic papers in my field (music) and adjacent subjects. Of course the citations are mainly a signal of your right-thinking (the “who” that you cite, and their status in the academic clownworld moral pantheon is more important than the “what” of their actual theories and arguments), but what is particularly offensive to me is the recent prevalence of “auto-ethnography” (didn’t David Carradine die from that?) – auto-ethnography meaning “shit I dreamed up out of my addled brain and misinterpreted… Read more »

Member

“auto-ethnography” (didn’t David Carradine die from that?)

No, geez, Carradine wasn’t that much of a degenerate! He just accidentally hung himself to death while jacking off!

Gravity Denier
Guest
Gravity Denier

“Instead of sitting around looking at scrap books and telling war stories, the intellectual class reboots old ideas from prior generations and repeats the same things over and over.” Citation of sources can be valuable in the case of statements that go against conventional assumptions or otherwise might sound highly questionable. But that’s in connection with facts. Buttressing opinions by citing someone else is usually just gaming an argument — it’s almost always possible to find someone else with the same opinion, and so what? If you want to strengthen a claim, better to use examples, data (although there are… Read more »

MBlanc46
Guest

I work in scholarly publishing. There are several factors operating there. People cite their friends, bumping each other up in citation indexes. They cite their grad school profs. They cite academic stars that they want to suck up to. They’d probably rather not publish at all, but publishing is the only path to tenure (failure to attain tenure is career death), promotion, and the chance to move up the academic food chain (who wants to stay at Backwater State A&M forever?).

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Two things going on here, IMHO. One is that citation is easy and a lazy way out, when you can Google the internet. Two is that stupid people are mostly incapable of original thought, or of stringing disparate things together into new and useful insights, so they simply copy and paste. And since the universities and corporations operate by co-opting all those stupid people into the fold, and having them do what they are told, there is no institutional incentive to do anything but perpetuate the practice.

Severian
Guest

Thanks for the flashback to grad school, Z Man. One of my favorite private jokes was doing the citation tango by attributing the most banal statements imaginable to big league academics. So I’d have Michel Foucault saying that power is “interesting” (Les mots et les choses – une archéologie des sciences humaines (Paris: Gallimard, 1966), p.45); Judith Butler maintaining that gender is “important” (Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Routledge. p. 32), etc. Nobody ever called me on it, no matter how silly it got — proof positive, I guess, that nobody actually reads the stupid footnotes.

Member

“So I’d have Michel Foucault saying that power is “interesting”. !! LOL

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Severian, you are right, who reads the stupid footnotes—unless you are disagreeing or confused wrt the passage(s) in the paper referencing the footnote? I’m simply not getting the bulk of the concern here. I have little problem reading through such papers/studies—skipping over the citations/footnotes and when necessary, reading the citations if I need too. If you are adept in the field, the citations seem of little bother, and if not, then are of great necessity.

Member
Felix_Krull

Severian, thanks for the great review of Empire of the Summer Moon – I raced through it this weekend. If he hadn’t taken the shekel in the end, Quanah could’ve become the patron saint of nationalists everywhere.

Also, I like the Comanche division of labor:

Men: KILL! BURN! RAPE!

Women: Everything else.

Severian
Guest

Felix, that was indeed a nice review. Alas, not mine – I’ve never seen that site before (though it looks interesting).

Member
Felix_Krull

I see. I must’ve misremembered something then, but the book gets my warmest recommendations.

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Range Front Fault made the book recommendation here a few days ago 🙂

Mysteerious Rooshian Vooman
Guest
Mysteerious Rooshian Vooman

Excellent article, as usual! (You are a National Treasure, you know.) Anyway, reminds me a bit of what Oscar Wilde said: “The difference between journalism and literature is that journalism is unreadable, and literature is not read.” Our “intellectual” class writes mostly drivel–trust me on that, as I have had 30 yrs experience editing their scribblings to make them (gag) publishable.” But all I can do, really, is to clean up the grammar and style. It really is almost exclusively drivel. And unreadable. And probably unread. Trust me on this too: Just because somebody cites somebody else does in no… Read more »

Member
Felix_Krull

My sister worked in the Danish department of energy, and one day the boss’ nephew, fresh out of uni, got hired for some PR position. Nephew is tasked with writing a two-page synopsis on wind energy or something. Boss asks my sister to ‘polish up’ his text, as he’s near-dyslectic. Sis takes a look at it, and discovers that it’s rank, utter nonsense. She discovers that he has copypasted from random articles on wind turbines and arbitrarily cobbled it together with no regard for any overall coherence or narrative in the text. She goes to nephew and tells him that… Read more »

TBoone
Guest
TBoone

…AND an Uncle in a key administrative position. So he’s well on his way to a career in Bureaucracy!

MossHammer
Guest
MossHammer

It seems citationitis is the literary manifestation of coalition-building, as pointed out by Sextus, to quickly frame the author’s RightThink. It’s also a symptom of cowardice.

Screwtape
Guest
Screwtape

Citation: the “black lives matter, love trumps hate” yard signs affixed to the $800k homes in my bluetopolis. Its the “ok” sign that means “goodwhite”.

Its all rather self-congratulatory and likely feelz good as it requires no further thought.

But when the new LED street lights go dark or the sanctuary policies turn the streets dark, those signs (and indeed the prostrating tolerance of white guilt) will be even less useful than the “black owned” signs in the old LA riots. Good times.

King Tut
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King Tut

It all fits perfectly. All things are now known and all questions have been answered. So why do we still need these outmoded (and probably racist) concepts like inquiry and debate? The search for truth is over. The Cathedral has all the answers and your only task, grasshopper, is to learn to use the “search” function. Act as if you have all the answers and the answers will be given to you. History consists of slavery, the Holocaust and Stonewall. What else do you need to know? Why, even to ask questions is, of itself, an act of insubordination. You… Read more »

Exile
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Exile

With an education system based on Prussian credentialism, it’s no surprise we’re producing generations of brown-nosed metric-chasing grinders with little to no analytical or critical thinking skills (especially ironic in the age of crit theory). I’ve seen this transform California law practice over 20+ years. Kids out of Harvard, Stanford et al can’t think on their feet. They only excel at cheating, blame-shifting and, when forced, grinding out rote work product from samples their elder betters have provided.

Severian
Guest

Mostly OT, I realize, but speaking of credentials… since you’re pinch-hitting for Heartiste, Z Man, can you imagine what a panty-dropper this is going to be? Smartphones sounding an alarm whenever someone whose “social credit” score is low walks into the room. $1000 says the “Game” guys figure out how to hack it within 2 hours of it hitting the shelves. Yes, ladies, we know you believe anything your smartphone tells you… and I am a bad, bad boy.

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

That alarm may just become a point of pride. Badass and all.

A Postcard From the Volcano
Guest

“the intellectual class reboots old ideas and repeats the same things over and over” Not so, my friend; would that it were. In fact, a new idea of epochal importance has taken hold quite strongly, one might even say ovrrwhelmingly, among the intellectual and cultural classes. And they never get tired of repeating it. Roughly speaking, it is this: 1. White people have no right to exist. Because slabery. Because Holocaust. Because the Slaveocaust. 2. White people’s countries, their lands, their women and all their stuff, rightfully belong to everybody else except White people. Again, because Slaveocaust. Or patriarchy. Or… Read more »

Member

Another citation trick is when a politician or advocate cites an everyman. “A fella in a coffee shop pulled me aside the other day, and explained the devastation that (right-wing proposal) was already wrecking on his family. It breaks your heart to hear these stories. And I hear them all the time from regular folk.” They just make up these encounters LOL.

Member
Felix_Krull

Or they can’t be bothered to invent anything and just attribute their hateful bias to “some people.” “Some people” say you’re a Nazi, what’s your response?

DraveckysHumerus
Guest
DraveckysHumerus

If you tell a big enough lie, and you tell it often enough, it will be believed.

Have any of you considered this event: https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/nazi-quote-yearbook-highland-park-high-school-510234631.html

The quotation above appeared in a h.s. yearbook, complaints were lodged by the local Jewish community, and the wisdom imparted ascribed literal nazi superpowers or comparable.

Rogeru
Guest
Rogeru

Stupid teachers once again missing an opportunity to teach.

https://www.bytwerk.com/gpa/falsenaziquotations.htm

TBoone
Guest
TBoone

Rogeru, thanks for this link. I was curious about the “Hitler’ quote context. Ironic that Adolph was accusing his enemies of “the big lie”.

HobbesianM
Guest

Sadly, she missed an opportunity to write “Bolinger Bolshevik”. It is not original either, but it’s much less stale than “Champagne Socialist”. It would be very applicable to Jeremy Corbyn and his pals, if she ever wants to write about them.

Lance_E
Member

You realize that *every* system is going to select against people who question the system and in favor of people who support it, right? Any system that doesn’t do that, isn’t going to be a system for very long.

You’re not wrong, but it’s a tautology and doesn’t explain very much.

TomA
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TomA

I cite this post as Exhibit #1 in my argument that our species is in steep decline.

Tim
Guest
Tim

It’s cyclic. A lot of what’s going on is declining intelligence. You might like Edward Dutton’s At Out Wits’ End. Enjoyable read.

Moran ya Simba
Guest
Moran ya Simba

I imagine this is related to credentialism and the whole ‘overeducated morons running the circus’ issue Z has mentioned a few times and I think he is absolutely right about.

Member

The citation culture is a cross-product of litigation and origination. Litigation, because if you cannot prove your idea is original, the person who thinks their idea was original will sue you. Origination, because of the innate human desire to be thought of as the carrier of original ideas – the guy who “gets the credit”. It is almost never the case that “your” idea is genuinely unique or was never thought of before you came around. It is often the case that the guy who published or monetized it successfully gets remembered as the person who thought of it. That’s… Read more »

Christopher Chantrill
Guest
Christopher Chantrill

Yes, but. Why would anyone comforable in the gentry liberal bubble want to rock the boat with original thought.

F.S.C. Northrop wrote that science begins with a problem. We troublemakers have a problem, and we know we need to get outside conventional wisdom. Our gentry-liberal friends do not have a problem. At least, not yet.

Rod1963
Guest
Rod1963

Most of the folks tied to academia in some manner aren’t going to do squat. They will do as they are told lest the last several decades of their life gets flushed down the toilet and might have to get a real job. The same applies to many professionals. All these people are dependent on the system. This is why you don’t see them leading any revolution or even supporting it when push comes to show. They show up later after the blood letting has been done to game/suck-up to the new rulers. And yeah they don’t have any original… Read more »

bob sykes
Guest
bob sykes

The academic rule is that every statement of fact must either have an experimental or theoretical derivation you, yourself, produce or an explicit citation of a published paper. Tht’s just the way it is. It is also a very good rule for good science. Stop whining about good practice.

nrer
Member

There are “no facts” today in academia. Only “narratives”.

Stina
Guest
Stina

I am intimately familiar with the selection for regurgitators. I majored in math, a field I did well in with high grades, but one I’d never be able to contribute new to. I have no ideas. I just like the rhythm of it. I minored in history. I had so many ideas that I tackled without reservation or thinking, bounding into research and putting together papers that even my professors admitted to admiring, but always awarded with low grades due to lack of citation. Well, the ideas I failed to cite were my own. One professor let me in on… Read more »

GuestYes
Guest
GuestYes

Watch, listen and learn please, this early 80’s video is truly instructive I claim given it red pilled moi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJ9r8LMU9bQ

Contemporary members of our thing appears as the armadillo.

A B
Guest
A B

Gonna have to disagree a little Z. Academia is a hot mess to be sure, but it isn’t citation that did it. Citation is the method by which people distinguish the existing body of knowledge from that which the author is intending to add. Nothing inherently wrong with it, lot of good comes from it. What you’re calling “citation” in popular press isn’t that at all, it’s just signaling what team you’re on by naming who is and isn’t a teammate. Since you mention the IDW, there is the occasional eye dropper of prog speaking against interest, but it’s mostly… Read more »

S18-1000
Guest
S18-1000

Another part of why citations may be so prolific is that they’re a way to mitigate criticism of your position. Get even ankle deep into a debate with someone, and as sure as Godwin’s Law is a thing, someone will inevitably ask: Where’s your source for that? Can you cite a source? Can you prove that, what study backs that up? Where did you get those numbers from? What proof do you have? Y’know, everyone’s favorite: The Got’cha! But if you head that off by hitting them with a wall of citations, it makes your argument (in theory) harder to… Read more »

Screwtape
Guest
Screwtape

“Promiscuous lack of curiosity” Why reading here is good for my health. The lack of curiosity is what drives a stake into my heart. I have some tolerance for the self-indulgence and unearned self-regard of generation regurgitation, as they were mostly good children merely navigating the wicked curriculum of Progress put before them. We got what we incentivized. But what tilts my axis toward the inevitable hard reset is how the utter lack of curiosity has seemingly enveloped nearly every aspect of human interaction. There is no doubt that technology and the fetish culture that insulates it from critical inquiry… Read more »

billg
Guest
billg

All of this has been coming at us for a long time. A long lost primary source was published in a journal not too long ago (I discovered it and wrote an introduction). The young editor and one of the readers made me add a lot of secondary sources to make it more acceptable. I thought a primary source by an important historical figure could stand on its own. Apparently not. For any who are interested, Page Smith’s 1990 book “Killing the Spirit,” subtitled “Higher Education in America,” reads like prophecy. Note especially his chapters, “The Social Nonsciences,” “The Inhuman… Read more »

Sam J.
Guest
Sam J.

Uhhh…am I the only one that likes citations? When reading engineering papers it helps a lot to have other papers that cover some of the ideas in a paper. Some of these are complicated and require more reading to understand. Also if you like the paper reading more of the same is stimulating. If I don’t like it I can always skip reading the listed references.

I do get that some papers are just strung together references but you can always skim those and ignore the citations so I’m not losing anything if they cite them.