Meanwhile, in the True North, Strong and Free…

I recently discovered a Toronto-based blog called The Fourth Checkraise. The proprietor, Ilkka, appears to be a Finnish expat and academic — I’m thinking computer science, or at least one of the STEM fields. He also has a wicked sense of humor, and asks interesting questions:

  • [W]hy is it that you have the right to bodily autonomy to use as many illegal drugs as you want, yet you believe that the state should strictly control and ration actual medicine and all pharmaceutical drugs?
  • Why is it perfectly OK for Canada to require that her immigrants must be proficient in national language, and to require that all voters must show a valid ID and prove their citizenship before they are allowed to cast their votes, but it would be almost unspeakably horrible racism for the United States to do the same?
  • You sure seem to delight in calling us conservatives “anti-intellectual”! Could you give us some kind of reasonable operational definition for this term that you so love to fling around? Can you then give at least a ballpark estimate of the percentage of Muslims or black people in the world who are “anti-intellectual” according to your very definition that you just provided a moment ago? Have you ever criticized either one of these two groups for being “anti-intellectual”? Why not?

You might want to add The Fourth Checkraise to your daily reading. I have.

About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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4 Responses to Meanwhile, in the True North, Strong and Free…

  1. Bret Bearup says:

    Isn’t it interesting that we have a tendency to read articles, news sites, blogs, etc….that agree with a viewpoint we already have?

    We all do it. This guy is a good writer, but his questions aren’t really as interesting as you think they are. They are just repackaged words around the questions you (and everybody interested in politics, really) would like to see answered: why do you think the way you do?

    • profmondo says:

      No real argument here, Bear. FWIW, I do also read (and link to) blogs with which I disagree politically — the Major’s Liberal JAG and Michael Happy’s Educated Imagination (see blogroll for both), and while I don’t think it’s as bad as either Fox or MSNBC, I don’t think CNN is really a paragon of objectivity.

      In my line of work, I get a fair amount of “OK, Mr. Conservative (and the fact that I’m considered a conservative despite my support for things like gay rights and opposition to mandatory national service programs says something about the prevailing mindset in my profession), how do you reconcile X and Y?” In that regard, I suppose my interest in Ilkka’s work is like Samuel Johnson’s dancing bear — the remarkable thing is that it dances at all, let alone that it dances well. I’ve mentioned before that one of the things I’ve come to dig about this blog thing is the sense of community — the discovery that there are other folks (e.g., Ilkka, Alpheus and Withy from Athens & Jerusalem, and Jacobson at Legal Insurrection) in my line of work whose attitudes sync with mine. Consequently I see this sort of thing less as an echo chamber and more as a place where folks who aren’t used to fitting in may do so.

      As ever, I’m glad you dropped in, Bret — don’t be a stranger! (BTW, do you think UT will go after Butler’s coach?)

    • “Isn’t it interesting that we have a tendency to read articles, news sites, blogs, etc….that agree with a viewpoint we already have?”

      It is, but I think that even more interesting is how the left always suddenly gets concerned about diversity of viewpoints after their domination of media is challenged.

      I remember back when I was ten or so, and Finland got its first commercial television channel in addition to the two state-controlled (and fully in control of not just the left, but outright, and I mean this literally, stalinists), and wouldn’t you know how concerned they were that somebody could only watch this new channel and then not get exposed to a full range of viewpoints. Even then as a kid I thought there was something odd in that argument. And it hasn’t got any different ever since in other contexts.

      Living in a secluded echo chamber has made the left intellectually lazy. Which is why many of their mutually contradictory arguments are so very easy to puncture by asking questions the way I did over in the post that the good professor Mondo linked to.

      • profmondo says:

        One of my stock jokes is that there are some types of diversity academia doesn’t want. In many respects, I think a lot of it goes back to Codevilla’s “ruling class” argument.

        Thanks for joining in, Ilkka! Don’t be a stranger.

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