iBankCoin
Recovering Large Cap Growth PM. How I invest my own money is nothing like how I had to play the insane benchmark game.
Joined May 7, 2014
165 Blog Posts

Peak Political Correctness On Campus

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Happy Thanksgiving!  I am going to take a break from the markets to talk about the current wave of political correctness sweeping the Nations’s Universities.  I am a strong proponent of civil debate and freedom of speech.  The current situation has reached levels of absurdity that in my day would have been laughed at on my campus.

The current issue in a nutshell is this: free speech is offensive to a small minority on the campus and in addition to their “safe spaces” there is a movement to completely eradicate free speech that is offensive.  I recently had the opportunity to talk to a board member of a prestigious university who is a great friend and a mentor to me.  This person gave me my shot to be a PM in the business.  This person also happens to be a minority that was called in to help negotiate a settlement between the administration and the students.  The good news is this university is not going to ban free speech.

We basically tried to pinpoint what the exact nature of this problem was and how to solve it.  Before I begin I want to make something very clear this is not a necessarily a minority vs majority issue.  Apparently everyone on campus is offended.  The movement is a ploy to control what others say and to regulate speech of all kinds.  Aside from the obvious totalitarian nature of this movement at it’s core it is about other peoples feelings being hurt.  The greatest sin now is to hurt someones feelings by what you say whether it was a true hurt or imagined.  Today’s current students want the administration to step in and regulate speech they find offensive.   Back when my friend and I went to college people said stupid things all the time.  We came to the conclusion that one of the greatest lessons of college was to learn that you can’t control what other people say or do but you can control how you react to it.  Most folks who say outrageous things are looking for a reaction.  When you get upset and react visibly you have given them the power.  On the other hand if you ignore them and walk away they have no power over you.  Learning to have a thick skin and ignoring what other people say or do is one of the best skills you can develop in life.  The world is full of assholes and we can’t legislate them away.  Back in our day these things were self regulating.  Bigots and assholes were ignored and on the academic front people that had weak arguments and critical thinking lost in the exchange of ideas.

We came to the conclusion that the primary cause of this sensitivity is from over parenting to the point that collectively these kids never learned how to work things out between themselves.  When my friend and I were growing up our parents were just not that involved.  We did not have arranged play dates, our parents did not go to every sporting event and when we were bored they would open the screen door and say go find someone to play with outside.  We would roam the neighborhood from dawn to dusk until dinner.  Issues and problems between kids were sorted out on the playground.   Apparently today our parents would be reported to Child Protective Services and arrested for letting us roam the neighborhood.  So basically these kids have been pampered and protected by mommy and daddy from any bullies and meanies.  I went on a road trip a few years ago to visit friends and we discussed that we were all way too involved in our kids lives compared to our parents who in retrospect really didn’t do much other than feed and clothe us and instill some manners and morals.  The rest was up to us.

The good news is that my friend is actually going to suggest  to the administration that part of the university experience for these kids is to learn that one can only control how one reacts to offensive speech and that one cannot control what others say or do.  Clearly there are codes of conduct that have been established by Universities and we had them when I was there but we can’t let them morph into Mao’s Little  Red Book.  The University experience is about becoming an adult and should not be an extension of over protective parenting.

I think this trend has primarily peaked because we have reached crazy extremes, generational cyclicality and unfortunately its going to get very serious for these graduates very soon.  It is becoming increasingly apparent that the debt crisis is morphing into a geopolitical crisis and economic crisis.  The drumbeats of war which have been faint are becoming louder and louder.  These students will be pining for the halcyon days of having their feelings hurt.

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30 comments

  1. probucks

    Only true iBankCoin-stars comment at 1:50am.

    As always, great article BlueStar. I do love to read the zerohedge links about this subject because it is truely getting out of hand.

    You don’t want to educate yourself on the topics? That’s fine. You disagree? Who the fuck cares! This is the United States where you have a right to free speech – not a right to remain unoffeneded.

    What happened to the Socratic method and intelligent conversational debates?

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  2. BlueStar: Contrarian Investor
    BlueStar: Contrarian Investor

    Probucks,

    Amen.

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  3. formergeek

    Peak de-evolution

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  4. Dr. Fly

    happy black friday eve

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  5. Jersey whale

    Good stuff Blue, parents should be nurturing and caring but also preparing their children for adulthood. Keeping them from ever facing an obstacle or experiencing disappointment is doing them a big disservice.

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  6. levrage

    James Howard Kunstler, in his Clusterfuck Nation blog, recently delivered a tour-de-force on this topic:

    http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/good-little-maoists/

    The right to not give a fuck should be a featured amendment to the Bill of Rights. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  7. GM

    Blue, whilst you may be right about parents’ over-protectiveness, I think today’s parents are lead that way (forced?) by the STATE.

    It is all designed to ensure you are subservient to and dependent on the state. It produces weakness, that can be controlled and manipulated by the state. It indoctrinates that the state is benevolent and wise, whilst those nasty individuals with weird individualistic (profit-driven) views are the enemy.

    Read some of Jeff Nyquist’s writings, the commies infiltrated Western institutions way back in the 50s (McCarthy was right), and we’re now several generations deep into socialism/liberalism/communism.

    Sadly, I disagree that we are anywhere near peak. Peak madness comes during the looming collapse (over at least 10-15 years), and takes us to dark places of totalitarianism, full-blown communism, and civil wars/revolutions.

    Who will fight it? I’m planning an escape like yours, truly terrifying times ahead (assuming the nukes don’t fly first).

    Good luck all.

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  8. J Adabese (your pen pal)
    J Adabese (your pen pal)

    As if it were really all just that simple blue star. Unfortunately the world is so much more complex as are human beings.

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  9. MSGT HARTMAN

    If you are trying to impress us with your academic prowess at least spell Mao correctly. And brush up on your grammar, it’s horrific.

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  10. BlueStar: Contrarian Investor
    BlueStar: Contrarian Investor

    Master Hartman,

    Thanks for the heads up on Mao Spelling. It has been corrected. Appreciate it.

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  11. Celts

    Hope you’re right about trend peaking – starting to get out of hand

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  12. fryguy15

    The political correctness you speak of has been around for a while; the fact that it is spreading to the youth truly is a black mark on American parenting. Aren’t college age kids supposed to be “anti the establishment”?!

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  13. fryguy15

    Along those lines…. I’m seeing a growing sense of entitlement with college grads. When I was a junior analyst there was no hand-holding and no niceties, just an expectation of high quality work. That has somehow shifted.

    I understand that it is somewhat of our duty to bring up the juniors and show them the ropes. However, it has almost gotten to the point where you end up doing half of the work for them. This past month, I assigned a relatively simple task to one of the recent grads with a deadline two weeks out. I followed up the day before the deadline to find out that the kid hasn’t even started because of other work and “needed more time to understand the transaction”…. REALLY? This would have never happened even 10 years ago. Speaking to my colleagues, this is not an isolated case either.

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  14. GM

    @Fryguy,

    I took 6 cheques into the bank this week.
    I asked the clerk if he’d check my addition on the paying-in slip (I’d double-checked it at home twice, knew it was correct, juts wanted him to agree the figure).

    Firstly, he didn’t understand my request (maybe the word addition was new to him), so I asked him to add up the total to make sure mine was correct. I was very polite.

    His first 3 attempts all gave a different total each time. I asked if his PC showed a running total, so he could check if he was mis-keying a figure, he said no it didn’t.

    I said ‘I’ll add them up again on my phone as you seem to be struggling’, he responded ‘there’s no need to be so rude’. I rolled my eyes.

    I got the same total as I had got at home.

    He tried again on his calculator, this time he agreed with my figures, and I expressed my relief and left the bank.

    The clerk had a nice shade of pink shirt on, and an ear-ring in each ear.

    The world is FUBAR, time to find another planet.

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  15. djmarcus

    Just shut up already dude. Don’t you have anything better to do besides being a whiny fucking bitch?

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  16. djmarcus

    Nice post. Good off topic yet relevant subject… Thanks for sharing.

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  17. GM

    ‘Just shut up already dude. Don’t you have anything better to do besides being a whiny fucking bitch?’.

    If this is directed at me, thanks, don’t you have anything better to do than read my comments?

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  18. GM

    Sleep well little bulls:

    http://screencast.com/t/lfUdFaYIHkH

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  19. Djmarcus

    No not you GM. You’re always interesting to read. This guy Hartman whines on every single blog and adds no value.

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  20. ironbird

    Nice post Blue. Peak tho? Not so sure. Could just be the start. These millennials are the first completely brainwashed generation. The irony of the lefty professors getting taken down first is awesome. Reap what you sow and all. The French Revolution did not peak until they turned on themselves.

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  21. mx2101

    I’d guess the college campus situation is the result of a generation raised with always-on reasonably fast internet access. They can think the internet is the real world, and if someone “says” something on the internet it means something factual. And if they don’t think it is factual, the conflict begins.

    I wonder about the future of the acting profession. Act out a role on the internet and you could be persecuted or arrested. How long before this result is extended to actors doing the same thing on stage or in film?

    A generation has a view of reality that is different.

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  22. mx2101

    Let me try to make my point better-

    The real-world of a generation is now created from what they have received from media, social media in particular. Additionally, how an individual happens to feel now becomes the real-world when it is shared via media. Thoughts and ideas are not hypothetical, abstract, or for conversation when they are shared via social media. Instead they are “actionable” and as real as being hit in the face.

    I think it seems to be more about social media saturation, not just age. My girlfriend is not young, yet she is pretty much incapable of processing an IDEA that fractures her view of reality. Her reality is social media. We went out to eat on Thanksgiving. Her main priority was taking pictures for her online image, and posting them while we were sitting at the table.

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  23. rahagar

    What else would one expect from the generation that has grown up being given trophies and awards just for participating.

    The addage “speak truth to power” is becoming sac-less amongst the youth. They’ll reach adult years in a cashless, gun controlled, Orwellian State and think nothing of it. Those of us that aged in the relatively “free” years want no part of it.

    Free speech exercised… Fuck the college campus liberals that want no opinion but their own heard.

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  24. inception

    This got me heated a few months back when the local university wanted to ban the American flag.
    http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-0311-uci-flag-20150311-story.html

    Sleeper cells are abound.

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  25. ironbird

    @mx2101 No offense meant since smarts are not always a must. The girl is a retard. brother. They tend to get boring after a while.

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  26. anecdotal

    So, how to play a market tumble? I don’t know how to short stocks successfully, although I have a small short of a homebuilder.

    Perhaps, if there were an auto repossession company, that might benefit when the following trend ends:
    http://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/the-next-subprime-debt-crisis-is-coming

    However I think things have changed. Now if someone stops making their car payments; they can simply turn your car off remotely and send a tow-truck over to pick it up.
    Auto repossession guy, your job has been made redundant, as the Brits say.

    Other ideas?

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  27. GM

    @anecdotal

    Gold miners, margins explode due to lower oil priced (tick), and higher gold price (pending).
    Even the big miners will do 300-400% as the cycle unfolds, they’re so cheap now.

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  28. anecdotal

    GM
    agreed
    I’m in pm miners big time already. Just looking for other things

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  29. probucks

    @GM & @Anecdotal

    I was litterally just about to ask people their view on Gold. I was in the bearish camp until I saw Treasuries break the shorter timeframe correlation with gold. The equity rally may not have room to run much higher with a delayed rate hike – but gold certainly will be in for a massive short squeeze between dec & feb is my view.

    I’m hearkening memory of the last two years of precious metals rallying in Q1 added on with the fact that it’s traded off heavily amid nonexistent inflation / strong $ / eminent rate hike

    @BlueStar – thoughts?

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  30. ValueBoy

    Blue, been thinking about this post for awhile now. I think we are headed down a path similar to Nazi Germany in terms of the level of brainwashing. The PC movement basically stems from a moral law imposed by the government/media. You are morally obligated to not hurt anyone’s feelings and make sure they feel “safe.” Everyone else is ostracized for holding different morals or values, effectively limiting everyone’s freedoms.

    Not sure what the end game is but this new moral law is playing out currently on a global stage with the moral duty to help Muslim refugees. Refugees who coincidentally are governed by a more advanced moral/legal law: Shari’a law.

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