What Does Academia Celebrate on Independence Day?
As some here may know, my "day job" involves exposing an increasingly anti-American, and anti-Enlightenment cult within academia. I recently took part in an informal project that, in part, compared academia to the blogosphere. We analyzed the results of Google searches on the internet sites of the top 100 colleges and universities in the nation, wanting to observe how frequently the word "diversity" came up, in comparison to the more conventional ideological and political terms: "liberty", "freedom", "equality", and "democracy". We figured this would give us a rough idea of how preoccupied academia has become with some of the faddish counter-enlightenment concepts of the "left of the left" that Howard Dean seems to think will soon redefine politics in America.
And since we wanted to see how academia measured up against the rest of the society we conducted the same search engine analysis for a number of other institutional sectors: political parties, trade unions, business associations, churches, mainstream media, and the blogosphere. Although this wasn't a rigorous analysis, what we found was surprisingly consistent and provocative.The findings are summarized in this press release and detailed in the report: Words to Live By: How Diversity Trumps Freedom on University Websites. What might be of special interest to the blogosphere is that even if we include both the left and right hemispheres of the "new media", bloggers are still less enthralled by the diversity mantra than is any other sector, with the possible exception of the electoral committees of the political parties. In other words "diversity", although it enthralls academics, doesn't seem to have much appeal for sectors of the society that have any kind of direct accountability to the public. The more accountable, the less likely they are to refer to such terms of art. Again, I don't want to characterize this as a "slam dunk" indictment of academia. Rather, it supports a robust hypothesis that inspires further analysis. But if these findings are born out then the academy has drifted pretty far from the main stream of society, and they'd better start giving some thought to how they're going to find their way back, before they end up permanently in the wilderness, awaiting their own version of the second coming.
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