Tag Archives: harvard

Harvard: Geography Sucks

Geography in Exile,” by Briant Berry, Foreign Policy, No. 124, May-June 2001, http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0015-7228%28200105%2F06%290%3A124%3C6%3AGIE%3E2.0.CO%3B2-S.

Amid another angle on the ignorance and blindness of the modern university:

Those of us who have spent time in the Cambridge environment are well aware that insularity breeds arrogance; competence is perceived to decline sharply at the banks of the Charles River. If there are “Prisoners of Geography,” it is those who, confined to their tight academic island, make claims of discovery because they are separated from the larger intellectual enterprise by screens of self-congratulatory misperception.

A letter writer to Foreign Policy magazine relates Harvard’s hostility to geography (this should get Catholicgauze riled up!)

Ricardo Hausmann claims that development specialists have neglected geography because the discipline fell into disfavor as was excised from Harvard University in the 1950s (“Prisoners of Geography”, January/February 2001). He also asserts that a new group of Harvard economists have “rediscovered” economic geography and reversed decades of neglect, a peculiar view of intellectual history.

Economic geography has grown and thrived in the last half century, not withered. Geography was forced out of Harvard not for intellectual reasons, but for a series of interpersonal conflicts and embarrassments among faculty and administrators. The “new economic geographers” of Harvard find novelty only because of their insularity: They quote mostly each other, and rarely (if at all) the scholars on whose contributions they rely.

When I held a chair at Harvard, the then dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government told me there was no room for geography or geographers.” The time has come for that to be corrected. As Hausmann properly notes, economic geography should be at the forefront of the development debate. I would only add that it should be the real thing.

WITI Extremism (Anti-Harvard Anti-Cobuyitaphobia)

Nearly Sixty Years Later the World’s First Programmers Are Still Doing Gender Battle,” by Robin Raskin, WITI Women, 17 March 2005, http://www.witi.com/women/2005/eniac.php (from InformationWeek 25 April 2005 full page ad, page 64).

Like Collounsbury despises his bosses, and Cole despises Israel, I despite Women in Technology International. It worms itself into university departments and corporations that either do not know better or are intimidated. It is not some support group. It is a Left/Feminist agitation organization. From the first paragraph of a full-page advertisement in the otherwise excruciatingly corporate InformationWeek

The events of recent weeks have puts the issue of women in the workplace top of mind once again. First Harvard’s President Lawrence Summers made some unfortunate and inappropriate remarks attributing the small number of women in the sciences to innate biological difference between the sexes.

I blogged Summers’ original statement, Harvard forcing her President to apologize for sending ‘a weak signal’, and subsequent hysteria.

The paragraph continues…

At almost the same moment, Carly Fiorina was ousted at Hewlett-Packard. A misfit between her marketing background and HP’s engineering culture was the partial culprit.

Not a misfit between her skills and the job’s requirements, or her marketing background and HP’s engineering industry, but a “culture” issue.

Maybe her incompetent leadership, inappropriate MBA education, lack of communication, steering H-P in the wrong direction, destruction of corporate morale, record of complete failure, and lack of strategy — combined with the fact that Fiorina led the company to a widely predicted disaster by near-fatal lack of cobuyitaphobia had something to do with it.

But at least WITI closes their first paragraph with predictable “diversity” nonsense.

And now, we’ve seen the transformative experience of a woman who’s paid her dues, as Martha Stewart morphs from piranha to muse. The good news? As these events transpire women’s place and unique challenges in the workplace are once again being debated and discussed. The bad news? Like all diversity conversations, as long you’re discussing it, it’s still an issue.

WITI is a 4G-style organization well into the Penetration stage of PISRR, with no ideological enemy to contest or Isolate, actively Subverting academic and corporate networks, attempting to Reorient society to their ends.

Fortunately, WITI’s New Style ends are unachievable and Reharmonizeable. Good.

No Human Rights for Sexy Librarians at Harvard

Librarian loses ‘pretty girl’ lawsuit against Harvard,” CNN, 4 April 2005, http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/04/04/librarian.suit.ap/index.html (from Democratic Underground).

Perhaps not as inflammatory as No Human Rights for Arabs in Israel, but still good hyperbole

Harvard University did not discriminate against a library assistant who claimed she was repeatedly turned down for promotions because school officials saw her as “a pretty girl” whose attire was too “sexy,” a federal jury found Monday.

medium_desiree_goodwin.jpg

Goodwin, who has worked as a library assistant at Harvard since 1994, claimed in the lawsuit that she had been rejected for seven promotions at the library since 1999.

She said she was shocked when, in late 2001, her supervisor told her she would never be promoted at Harvard. In court documents, Goodwin said her supervisor told her she was “a joke” at the university’s main library, where she “was seen merely as a pretty girl who wore sexy outfits, low cut blouses, and tight pants.”

I don’t know the facts of the case. It is symbolic, though, of the wrong state of American law. Since the Warren Court the United States have pushed laws to reorder society. These attempts at creating a New Style Man and New Style Woman have succeeding in increasing misery. Instead of informal dress codes that tilt one way, we now have formal dress codes that tilt the other.

No progress has been made, or could be made. Earl Warren’s legacy is made of painful lawsuits and cruel injustice.

Hysterical Harvard

Harvard aims to spur advancement of women,” by Marcella Bombardieri, Boston Globe, http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2005/02/04/harvard_aims_to_spur_advancement_of_women/, 4 February 2005 (from The Corner).

You are Harvard Univeristy. Your successfully responded to scientific inquiry from your president by making him apologize. What is the next stage . But that’s not enough. You want to demonstrate that women can succeed in science through hard work and intelligence?

Affirmative action!

In response to the outcry that followed Harvard University president Lawrence H. Summers’s remarks on women in the sciences, the university announced yesterday the creation of two task forces to develop concrete ways to better recruit women and support the careers of female scholars at Harvard, especially in science and engineering.

Harvard also announced plans to create a senior position in the central administration to focus on the recruitment and advancement of women on the faculty.

For example, many people had been urging the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to reinstitute the dean for affirmative action, a position that was abolished several years ago. The new senior position for gender diversity seems to be a similar job, though at the higher university level rather than at the level of FAS.

Those who lobbied for that position made “persuasive arguments,” Summers said yesterday. He also said that the new initiative “is something that perhaps we could have done some time ago — addressing these problems on a university-wide level rather than leaving them to the decentralized schools. . . . I think this is an overdue step in taking a university-wide view of these questions.”

What a great school.

Veritas

Harvard Chief Says His Remarks on Women Were Wrong,” by Greg Frost, Reuters, http://reuters.myway.com/article/20050120/2005-01-20T161255Z_01_N20197396_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-LIFE-HARVARD-DC.html, 20 January 2005 (from Drudge).

Harvard Univeristy demonstrates that it is a university in the truest sense of the world — it is a place for free expression of ideas, no matter how controversial.

Just kidding.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) – Harvard University President Lawrence Summers has written a lengthy apology, admitting he was wrong to suggest women do not have the same natural ability in math and sciences as men.

In his third and most repentant statement this week, the Ivy League school chief sought to make amends to faculty not just at Harvard but across the country who were offended by his remarks at a conference last Friday.

“I deeply regret the impact of my comments and apologize for not having weighed them more carefully,” Summers said in a letter to the Harvard community posted on his Web site and dated Wednesday. “I was wrong to have spoken in a way that has resulted in an unintended signal of discouragement to talented girls and women.”

If I was snide, I would say this is great news. After all, now that Harvard University has made is clear that some speech is unacceptable, we can expect all anti-Semitic speech to end. Likewise anti-American will soon end on college campuses, because it is it an “unintended” signal of discouragement to our troops.

But that’s not going to happen, so I won’t say anything.