Something is Broken in the UK Intellectual Sphere.
The BBC did some kind of educational cartoon on Roman Britain and represented “diversity” in terms of someone looking African in the show as representative of “diversity” at the time. The BBC was effectively applying quotas retroactively (I mean, really retroactively). They were also lumping anything that was not part of today’s EU as “ethnic” or “coloured”. Any dissent from the statistical errors made by the politically correct police is treated as apostasy. And exposing a patent bullshitter, Mary Bear, 1) a bullshitter (even when caught in the act of fabrication in her accounts of the story) and 2) an insidious Northern Supremacist under cover of “diversity” causes some type of mob defense by the UK. bon pensant class. Effectively, scholarship is dead in the U.K.
- Representativeness heuristic. The picture was portrayed as representative (playing on the representativeness/availability heuristic in the minds of children). Some people backtracked later by saying it is was not common but not impossible, which is where I shout “BS!” Of course there could have been some SubSaharans in London, but how representative was that? (More technically, calling events that fall in the tails of the distribution, beyond 2 standard deviations “typical” and, as Mary Beard describe it “accurate” is plain fabrication. “Typical” is within one STD).
- Anecdotal vs Statistical. The backup is mostly anecdotal from cherry picked stories. We find nothing beyond traces of sub-Saharan genes in areas where Roman legions were located (France, Gaul, and even Spain, where most of it came much later from the Arab trade) — but we find genes of other Roman occupiers. Show the picture to a French or Italian person and tell him “this is the typical…” and wait for the insults.
- Fuzzy classification. The “ethnics” at the time were the Northerners (and the Subsaharans or “Aethiopians”), not the Meds. Even the researchers who deal with physical remains miss the point that people from North Africa looked no different from Spaniards, S. Italians, and Greeks. Punics/Phoenicians we now know, looked Canaanite, just like Southern Europeans. Berbers looked like mountain berbers today. So representing “diversity” should focus on the difference between locals and Romans (Northern European vs Mediterranean), not within Romans (in other words, Butter vs Olive Oil ). It would be like mixing English and Spaniards/S. Italians, which makes sense. But it doesn’t work: Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Sicily are in the EU, so the other needs to be something else. (Contradicts the anti-Brexit… African is not a phenotype, but some rough geographic delimitation)
- The reclassification “when it fits” is nothing short of fabrication.
- The UK political correctness mob. Britain perfected the scholar with “f*** you money”, but today’s typical U.K. academic is a wuss, with a renewable 5 year contract, and, like the middle class, in a state of insecurity and constant fear of being caught breaking rules. They are very vulnerable to the slightest accusation (recall the Tim Hunt affair where a Nobel winner was summarily fired because of a confusing joke, with no chance of explaining what he meant). So there is a set system to terrorize people who divert via public flogging or even burning at the stake: for instance David Colquhoun, a morally depraved man who serves as attack dog to terrorize people and raise mobs can only exist in the U.K. Like an inquisitor, he accuses you of sorcery and now all bets are off. He makes sure nobody reads your papers. He did it to Tim Hunt & others.
- My Case: In my case “feminists” were upset that I could disagree with a woman (I should not treat a woman as I would a man, yet they manage to find no contradiction.) So they used the excuse that I call Mary Beard Ms Beard simply because I will never call a historian with a PhD “Doctor”, particulary if the person, like Ms Beard has shown evidence of being a BS vendor (I only call medical doctors doctors). That was sufficient to trigger the inquisition (they could not use my contradicting a woman as official grounds for that). But note that I can’t be affected by what IYIs (intellectuals like idiots) in the UK or elsewhere think; neither my book sales, nor my business activities seem to be affected by IYIs. Actually, my book sales increase upon attacks by IYIs.
- I am certain that had I called Mary Beard “Professor Doctor Beard”, they would have found something else that was “chauvinist”, perhaps the length of my sentences, etc.
- The US. We believe here in America in freedom of expression far more than in other fuzzier notions such as justice, equity, etc. Freedom is vastly more robust than other notions and shields us from inquisitors such as David Colquhoun. Europe and Canada are in trouble.
God Bless America.
APPENDIX: Why I call Mary Beard a bullshitter. If you can’t trust a historian for something you eyewitnessed (below caught redhanded), how can you trust her for something you did not?
Post Scriptum: This position caused me to get 000s of harrassing posts from U.K. journos, with names I recognize such as the BS vendor Simon Singh and others I don’t recognize, but all seem to have the same profile (usually verified). (Some are far more insidious: Massimo Pigliucci for instance misrepresented my argument above in a long account that loses you in niceties.) The smearing mob can’t get that 1) They can’t get me to lose a “job” or affect my income (even if I loved them they don’t have $$ to give, anyway), 2) They can’t sue me over here (recall, America), though I enjoy lawsuits & confrontation, 3) They can’t stop people from reading my books (IYIs are a tiny minority of book buyers), 4) Their random pop-psych labels such as “childish”, “rude”, “narcissistic”, “toxic masculinity” “lacking in self confidence”, or some newly diagnosed psychological disorder by the BBC just to repress dissent fail to convince, 5) They have increased my twitter following (in spite of ~1000 blocks), 6) They can’t reach my mother because someone is instructed to pick up the phone and confuse them in Levantine, 7) What people think of me has never been my concern (truth & integrity come before reputation).
Lesson: Studying courage doesn’t make you couragous, no more than eating cow meat turns you into a cow. All these intellectuals know is to either shut up or be part of a lynch mob. This explains why all these “classicists” (who know in intimite details what people of courage such as Alexander, Caesar, Hannibal, Julian, Leonidas, Zenobia, etc. ate for breakfast) can’t have a shade of intellectual valor. Is it that academia (& journalism) is fundamentally the refuge of the stochastophobe tawker? That is, the voyeur who wants to watch but not take risks? It appears so.