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Darth.Vegan

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I would just like to ask that we stop hijacking threads, it's not fair to the OP's or to the rest of the members of the forum. 

 

If certain individuals would like to PM me to discuss the merits of direct action, or my personal political views on issues such as a "diversity of tactics,"  whether I consider property destruction "violence," or whether or not I believe the state is a fundamentally violent institution, feel free. If I am in the mood to have such a discussion, I will choose to reply. 

 

Frankly, this forum really isn't the place for it. I come here to share in my experience with potential graduate applicants in sociology. Yes, I have somewhat radical political views and I am happy to discuss them with polite, interested individuals. While my views may inform to some extent my world view, they do not make up all of who I am as a person or as a researcher for that matter. My views are not all that outside of the realm of folks in academia, you can have similar discussions with Angela Davis, Judith Butler, David Graeber, Noam Chomsky or the various outspoken political activists that happen to work in and out of academic circles (and whose research may or may not be in any way related to their political views). 

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The videos you proudly posted clearly show direct action anarchists pushing other protesters out of their way, to which you add in your comments a warning for others to not get in your way.  Is it radical news to you that the state is fundamentally coercive?  This is an idea from first-course political theory taught in every department in the nation, and one that spills over into major subfields of anthropology, economics, and sociology.  

 

You would have some currency to purchase the request people address you in a "polite and interested" manner, had you not already spent yours by addressing others like this: 

 

"yawn."

"This is so beyond offensive it's not even funny, you are so inherently bigoted towards "anarchists" there would be no point in even debating this."

"It's clear to me that you're a total prestige snob"

 

Three separate board members have sympathized with me privately that you are abusive, immature, and irresponsible in the way you behave here.  And I suspect many more stay away from dialogue with you because of your embarrassing attitude and lack of erudition.  As I pointed out in the other thread - I've known quite a few abusive, immature, and irresponsible academics.  Seemingly these people get away with it because they are otherwise brilliant and offer enormous contributions to their colleagues.  I haven't seen an insightful thought come out of your mouth yet.  You lurk on threads, posting generic one-line application advice occasionally, and otherwise chime in on debates uninvited just to throw politically-charged ad hominem around.  This apparently constitutes a "diversity of tactics" approach to political action.  

 

I don't deny that I'm arrogant and condescending.  At least I make some attempt to translate that into constructive dialogue.  Your belligerence gets channelled into pronouncements that "there is no point in even debating."

 

I've brought people into my apartment that were blind from teargas -- you are precisely the kind of idiot that instigates this sort of harm.  Your actions are the reason police fire beanbags at people.  Your politics are a disgrace, and I expect nothing but disappointment from your scholarship as well lest you spend less time flaming people on the internet, playing shoot em up video games, watching bloody fights on TV, and more time considering your own priors more deeply.

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The videos you proudly posted clearly show direct action anarchists pushing other protesters out of their way, to which you add in your comments a warning for others to not get in your way.  Is it radical news to you that the state is fundamentally coercive?  This is an idea from first-course political theory taught in every department in the nation, and one that spills over into major subfields of anthropology, economics, and sociology.  

 

 

Let's get this out of the way, this is the last time you will get a response from me on this forum. 

 

First, if you're referring to the Black Bloc incidents in Oakland, it would be wise to have your facts straight before commenting. Black Bloc members in Oakland chose to engage in the controversial tactic of property destruction and economic sabotage. I am well aware that many activists are uncomfortable with said tactics and there is certainly space to debate their merits. However, It was Black Bloc activists who were physically assaulted by folks screaming about non-violence, not the other way around. This mischaracterization is indeed intentional I imagine. That said, I'm not having this discussion on here, nor am I going to continue it with you at all. If you are truly interested in this debate, might I suggest looking up the Crimethinc debate with Chris Hayes on YouTube. 

 

 

 

Three separate board members have sympathized with me privately that you are abusive, immature, and irresponsible in the way you behave here.  And I suspect many more stay away from dialogue with you because of your embarrassing attitude and lack of erudition.  As I pointed out in the other thread - I've known quite a few abusive, immature, and irresponsible academics.  Seemingly these people get away with it because they are otherwise brilliant and offer enormous contributions to their colleagues.  I haven't seen an insightful thought come out of your mouth yet.  You lurk on threads, posting generic one-line application advice occasionally, and otherwise chime in on debates uninvited just to throw politically-charged ad hominem around.  This apparently constitutes a "diversity of tactics" approach to political action.  

 

 

Three, is that all? let me just say that in terms of PM's regarding your behavior on this forum, I've lost count. You've managed to get in spats and offend at least half the posters here. There was in fact not a single argument that I saw in the sociology sub forum until you showed up (and i've been posting here for 3 years). 

 

 

I don't deny that I'm arrogant and condescending.  At least I make some attempt to translate that into constructive dialogue.  Your belligerence gets channelled into pronouncements that "there is no point in even debating."

 

You're beyond arrogant and condescending. The reason people take such offense to your posts is the fact that you take such a blazen approach to ripping the work of other scholars and people with far more experience and intellectual development than yourself. I am not on this forum to get in political debates, last I checked this forum was for folks interested in applying to grad school. I am also not interested in your attempt to repackage your libertarian beliefs with academic prose (akin to the repackaging of creationism into intelligent design). 

 

 

 

I've brought people into my apartment that were blind from teargas -- you are precisely the kind of idiot that instigates this sort of harm.  Your actions are the reason police fire beanbags at people.  Your politics are a disgrace, and I expect nothing but disappointment from your scholarship as well lest you spend less time flaming people on the internet, playing shoot em up video games, watching bloody fights on TV, and more time considering your own priors more deeply.

 

Let's get this straight, you don't know me. Comments on a spattering of YouTube videos (taken out of context no less) from 2-5 years ago, are not reflective of who a person is or their beliefs. 

 

Police shoot beanbags at people because police are violent. I'm guessing the Occupy Folks that got hit with a barrage of teargas and beanbags WHILE SLEEPING, must have been victims of "my actions" (whatever those were). 

 

I also don't see how my interest in video games or martial arts has any relevance whatsoever, but hey, those childish attacks say more about your character than mine. It's been a pleasure, I'm done. 

Edited by xdarthveganx

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Sociology Definition:

1.  The study of development, structure, and the functioning of human society [apparently also the devolution of civil communication)

2.  The study of social problems [interpersonal communication included?]

 

I'm no sociologist, but I love that you guys are studying social problems.  The future is bright.  But...there's such a dearth of social problems on this thread!  What is there to study??  Ah, the bitter battles of a humanities field.  Intense stuff. 

 

Is anyone else amused by the rancor?  This is like two Hallmark executives divorcing their wives because their Valentine's cards only had three bunnies, not four.  THEY WANTED FOUR BUNNIES!!!!  Get it straight.

 

I would love to see some Psych comments...this is so ripe for analysis.

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Ah, the bitter battles of a humanities field.  Intense stuff. 

 

I would just like to point out that sociology is not a humanities field.  That is all.  Lol.

 

 

Although, I must say that I do like this idea of creating a new thread as the "battlefield."  Much better than posting it on legitimate threads.  Plus, it provides endless entertainment to distract us from the present deafening silence of sociology adcomms...  :D

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Yeah, the new thread was a clutch idea. I don't care if you guys duke it out over ideology, but I'd like to add the personal attacks make some of us a little uncomfortable. At some point the threads go from discourse to Internet trolling.

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I do have to admit that all this has been pretty entertaining, in a guilty, soap opera-ish kind of way. Unfortunate that the trolls are beginning to emerge from the woodwork, though.

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I also want to apologize to everyone else for my part in participating in or encouraging negative discussions here. I appreciate this forum greatly and have developed some amazing friendships with people on here. I know this kind of stuff is common in online forums, but I see GradCafe as hopefully something different. 

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It's "brazen."  It must be difficult to imagine someone could form a qualified criticism of professional scholarship at the undergraduate level, considering you obviously haven't been challenged to do so, but keep dreaming big, champ -- anything is possible!  

 

But I suspect you're right.  I'm sure what really pushes people over the edge (and I've been saying this from the beginning) isn't that my views and readings of literature differ with theirs -- it's the combination of customary outrage at opposing view in combination with that I putatively have no right to comment because I'm not from sociology proper, and because I'm an undergraduate.  Thank you for evidencing precisely the point I was making in the other thread.  

 

If you can calm down for a moment and maybe take a look at a couple recent threads I've posted in, you'll note the collegial interactions I've had with a bunch of people here, even in midst of these debates (DEBATES!?!?!  IDEAS!?!?!  ACADEMIA!?!?  WTF?!!??).  I tend to get hostile and condescending when, well what do you know -- when people attack me with meaningless warrants about my training, clout, ethos, background, and personal conduct.  Crazy stuff.

The reason people take such offense to your posts is the fact that you take such a blazen approach to ripping the work of other scholars and people with far more experience and intellectual development than yourself. 

Edited by econosocio

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Sup Bradley,

 

Thanks for chiming in.  Methodological, theoretical, and political concerns are most important to my applications and decision to switch to sociology.  So you're absolutely correct that I came seeking these discussions, deliberately.  Is that supposed to be a subtle analysis?  It's something I've stated outright before, if it wasn't totally transparent from my actions.  I don't hold a lot back, chu know?  

 

A majority of other disciplines think sociology is a joke, a professional political lobby, and an ineffectual one at that.  This discipline is stacked with over 90% democratic voting, exceeding averages in disciplines like law, economics, philosophy, history, etc.  If that doesn't scream agenda and a lack of critical discourse, I don't know what does.  But because I'm such a maverick contrarian you know ;), I questioned that and said: "Gee those people have some really great models of behavior, especially the economic sociologists, and they can't all be half-wit political activists."  

 

My limited sample of the board confirms that hypothesis.  About 10-20% of the people I've spoken with here are extremely intelligent, interested in reasoned debate over opposing views, interested in defending their ideas, mature enough not to throw up their hands in ethical offense the minute someone says something critical to them in a condescending tone.  The other 80% fulfill just about every negative stereotype that exists about this discipline.  And all is fair in love and war, no?  No doubt I fulfill just about every negative stereotype all you flag waving liberal activists have of economists, don't I?  And hell!  I'm not even an economist!  I'm a snot nosed undergraduate!  I hang my head in shame - Lord forgive me, for I do know what I do, and do it anyway.   

 

If I'm killing your buzz, Haas, you're free to ignore me -- like Cherub pointed out, there's even a nice little feature to help with that (the progress of technology creates Pareto improvements in welfare again!  Boom!).   

 

Thankfully, that 10-20% that I found on the forum has really reassured my decision to move over to sociology, and I couldn't be happier and more confident about the move i made, ESPECIALLY considering the volume of explosively smart sociological literature I've read in the last couple few months.  I'm really looking forward to working with some of these wicked smart people I've found in sociology.  Some of them have been extremely generous and welcoming as well.  I couldn't be happier, to tell you the truth.  I haven't even been dealing with a lot of anxiety about my applications because I'm just so glad to have found a home and a solid direction again.  Big shout outs to everyone who's participated in long tete a tetes with me on here and in private message -- you guys really helped with one of the most important decisions in my life.  

 

Sigh.  I really do love this.  You can't imagine.

 

Edit:  I mean seriously.  It's a very exciting time in sociology, you know.  It has the largest inlets of network and complex adaptive systems work, natural language processing, and corpus analysis of culture.  In my view, these will only spread and increase in their analytical tractability and applicability.  They have real promise to solve ancient problems like understanding the mechanics of how structure and belief get built, satisfying micro and macro social accounts simultaneously.  I really couldn't be happier to moving into sociology.  It's days of having a garbage reputation for accidentally getting entranced with French structuralism and "critical" (read: ideological) theory are numbered.  Exciting, exciting times.  

Edited by econosocio

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Did you read the rest of my post, or only the first paragraph.  I mean, I understand I was being somewhat mocking, but within that I was being completely sincere about my intentions here, excitement about the discipline, etc.  

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I'm not concerned with your excitement about the discipline. That wasn't what we were discussing, now was it? But I will say that if this brief conversation has led, or could lead, to you re-evaluating how you approach this forum, then I'll take that as a positive. That's all I got.

Well no, not really.  My opinions and actions on the forum weren't unconsidered or accidental in the first place, so I'm not like moment-of-clarity embarrassed or something.  It's just a great bear hugging video that makes everyone feel good.  At the end of the day, bear hugs of drag-out intellectual discussion was my intent here. Everyone should have understood in the first place that (hard nosed argument) =/= (careless attempt to hurty every feels).

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I mean, c'mon.  Seeeriously?  Nobody else here has hot, sharp debates with their adviser or peers?  You guys are missing out.  It's the best.  That's that cultural difference between economics and sociology.  Then again, that kind of culture is also common in law, philosophy, and mathematics.  Probably elsewhere too.  You get a lot done that way, and only rarely do people get severely hurt in the fray -- because everyone's accustomed to it. 

 

I suppose I have learned something over the last few months.  Sociology students are very, uhm, touchy feely (well, until you hurt their feelings and they get hostile).  Anyway, it's nbd.  xoxoxo

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Nobody else here has hot, sharp debates with their adviser or peers?  You guys are missing out.  It's the best.

 

Actually they have specific rules in my department against hot sharp debates with advisors, even when it's consensual.

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Well, when you previously freely admitted to arrogance and condescension

What's wrong with freely admitting to being condescending and arrogant when I'm angry and feeling attacked?  I mean, I understand most people are too spineless to openly admit that they act like a piece of shit when they're angry, but we all do.  And whether anyone wants to agree with me or not, I have been consistently attacked on this forum.  It was for instance constantly suggested to me by everyone here (including people who now exchange ideas and links with me) that I didn't belong in sociology, wouldn't fit, needed to read more, etc -- mostly (but not always) without any kind of substantive explanation of why I appeared to be so a-sociological (leaving me of course to presume).  I mean, what the fuck kind of advice is that?  I started discussing my research interests in order to establish fit, and everyone threw a goddamn temper tantrum about supply and demand, rationality, markets, protection, and all the other old hobby horses.  I didn't even get a fucking chance to talk about my interest in networks, or the fact that my entire senior thesis hinges on a critical mass threshold model -- a main-stream idea in sociology.  

 

Now everyone's moral glorying about how this place is just for applications advice.  Are you fucking kidding me?  Where exactly did I get ammunition to interject my politics into the forum?  Thin air?  I've started maybe four or five threads here, tops.  Everything else I've said here has been replies to political, theoretical, or methodological remarks other people have made first.  The "mixing anarchy" thread would be a perfect example.  Everyone's sitting around stroking each other's politics about "anarchy," and I contest the position -- all of a sudden I'm a trouble maker for interrupting everyone's bliss parade or something.  I'm the one that needs to grow up?  And then everyone stomps around crying when I confront them about their politics -- that they're publicly advertising in the first place.  Indeed, ultimately accusing me of seeking out a bridge to troll under because I'm some alleged reactionary libertarian.  I mean for fuck's sake -- the stereotypes just keep coming and coming.  You put up a debate on here and people respond with fifth grade shit like "obviously econosocio suffers from an all too typical personality," blah blah.

 

Apparently people on the forum feel like it's no problem to throw passive aggressive jabs at me, and then turn around and suggest that I'm just causing problems and a huge dickhead when I understandably take offense and condescend back to them.  You know how this out of control flame war started this last time?  I said, "'lifecourse' sounds redundant and silly."  Then some typical do-gooder gets her kleenex out because I offended her noble intentions to save the world by making a simple critical comment about the title of her subfield.  

 

All of that shit I just said about how much I've been loving the sociology I've been reading?  We never got to that on the public forum because everybody was too busy pissing their pants trying to keep anyone except sympathizers out of their political conversations, and suggesting that anyone who had research interests that didn't immediately jive with their narratives of exploitation ought to sit down and think long and hard and do a lot more reading about whether or not they're cut out for sociology.  I've encountered some of the most intellectually stunted argumentation of anywhere on the internet on this forum.  I mean, what the fuck: I can't even remember who it was that laughed at me and said "good luck in sociology -- there isn't one environmental sociologist who agrees with you" when I had the brazen audacity to suggest that food quality has gone up since the green revolution, a fact that's supported by billions of people who no longer starve in the developing world.  

 

But, clearly, I'm the asshole here.  Anyone on the forum who's thrown ad hominem at me freely without any admonition from other members is forgiven because I putatively always start it.  And hey - even if I didn't start it - I barely have any right to be here and voice an opinion because I haven't read enough sociology yet, am an undergraduate, and believe a lot of things people here generally find ethically offensive. 

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Not everyone acts like an asshole when they're angry. Some people just turn the other cheek. Or so I've been told. Maybe we should all aspire to be like them?

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This is the second time in 24 hours that someone has said sociology is in the humanities.

 

This was largely true for a long time.  Sociologists were during the influence of French structuralism, postmodernism, etc violently opposed to testing hypotheses, and a majority of what they were doing looked more like literary theory or philosophy than science.  C Wright Mills complains about this some in Sociological Imagination, which I think is about 1952 or so.  

 

This is why the rest of the academy thinks sociologists are a bunch of retarded, prevaricating, obfuscate, pomo, bullshit artists.  For quite a long time they were on many fronts.  Of course with the new emphasis on empiricism, relevancy of theory, organizations analysis, acceptance of multivariate statistics, and so on this has changed quite a bit.  Many economists in fact now have a good deal of respect for empirical sociologists, recognizing at least that what most of the quantitative empirical people looks exactly like what applied microeconomists do every day. 

 

Anthropology and sociology were almost completely lost to epistemological and ontological debate for decades, and it's taken quite a while for these disciplines to rebound and begin repairing their image as anything other than evidence-less social advocacy programs.

 

You can all call me a condescending prick or whatever for pointing all of that out, but it's all true.  This comes from someone who wants to work in sociology, remember.  

Edited by econosocio

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What's wrong with freely admitting to being condescending and arrogant when I'm angry and feeling attacked?  I mean, I understand most people are too spineless to openly admit that they act like a piece of shit when they're angry, but we all do.  And whether anyone wants to agree with me or not, I have been consistently attacked on this forum.  It was for instance constantly suggested to me by everyone here (including people who now exchange ideas and links with me) that I didn't belong in sociology, wouldn't fit, needed to read more, etc -- mostly (but not always) without any kind of substantive explanation of why I appeared to be so a-sociological (leaving me of course to presume).  I mean, what the fuck kind of advice is that?  I started discussing my research interests in order to establish fit, and everyone threw a goddamn temper tantrum about supply and demand, rationality, markets, protection, and all the other old hobby horses.  I didn't even get a fucking chance to talk about my interest in networks, or the fact that my entire senior thesis hinges on a critical mass threshold model -- a main-stream idea in sociology.  

 

Now everyone's moral glorying about how this place is just for applications advice.  Are you fucking kidding me?  Where exactly did I get ammunition to interject my politics into the forum?  Thin air?  I've started maybe four or five threads here, tops.  Everything else I've said here has been replies to political, theoretical, or methodological remarks other people have made first.  The "mixing anarchy" thread would be a perfect example.  Everyone's sitting around stroking each other's politics about "anarchy," and I contest the position -- all of a sudden I'm a trouble maker for interrupting everyone's bliss parade or something.  I'm the one that needs to grow up?  And then everyone stomps around crying when I confront them about their politics -- that they're publicly advertising in the first place.  Indeed, ultimately accusing me of seeking out a bridge to troll under because I'm some alleged reactionary libertarian.  I mean for fuck's sake -- the stereotypes just keep coming and coming.  You put up a debate on here and people respond with fifth grade shit like "obviously econosocio suffers from an all too typical personality," blah blah.

 

Apparently people on the forum feel like it's no problem to throw passive aggressive jabs at me, and then turn around and suggest that I'm just causing problems and a huge dickhead when I understandably take offense and condescend back to them.  You know how this out of control flame war started this last time?  I said, "'lifecourse' sounds redundant and silly."  Then some typical do-gooder gets her kleenex out because I offended her noble intentions to save the world by making a simple critical comment about the title of her subfield.  

 

All of that shit I just said about how much I've been loving the sociology I've been reading?  We never got to that on the public forum because everybody was too busy pissing their pants trying to keep anyone except sympathizers out of their political conversations, and suggesting that anyone who had research interests that didn't immediately jive with their narratives of exploitation ought to sit down and think long and hard and do a lot more reading about whether or not they're cut out for sociology.  I've encountered some of the most intellectually stunted argumentation of anywhere on the internet on this forum.  I mean, what the fuck: I can't even remember who it was that laughed at me and said "good luck in sociology -- there isn't one environmental sociologist who agrees with you" when I had the brazen audacity to suggest that food quality has gone up since the green revolution, a fact that's supported by billions of people who no longer starve in the developing world.  

 

But, clearly, I'm the asshole here.  Anyone on the forum who's thrown ad hominem at me freely without any admonition from other members is forgiven because I putatively always start it.  And hey - even if I didn't start it - I barely have any right to be here and voice an opinion because I haven't read enough sociology yet, am an undergraduate, and believe a lot of things people here generally find ethically offensive. 

 

 

Look, I don't have a horse in this race (though I do love a good cliche), but everyone is just a little too strong there. I'm sorry you feel singled out, or so it is coming across in this thread, by the majority of us here.

 

The truth is, I don't post a lot about my perspective on things because I know people like LainieB and faculty are here. While that certainly doesn't bother me because faculty has been particularly insightful, I think this solidifies the assumption we all had: faculty members do read these forums, for good or for bad. Therefore, I personally don't feel inclined to get into a big ideological debate and discuss my (albeit limited) research because it would be pretty obvious who I am to anyone on an adcomm. This silence doesn't mean I'm agreeing or disagreeing with anyone; rather, I'd just like to stay a little lower profile during the admissions process.

 

Also, I want to point out that not everyone cares if you come from sociology or not. My first few years of ug were in polisci, so I'm a keen proponent of changing fields. Additionally, one of my favorite gradcafers has a non-soc background. Anyway, just wanted to point that out. I will say that if you are going to criticize a discipline or subd, then you should be read up on it; however, I realize that you were criticizing the nomenclature rather than the discipline itself. 

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