Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Patrick Stokes's hilarious anti-Briggs hate-gargle on The Conversation

You'd be forgiven for thinking that philosophy lecturers were all detached, contemplative types who enjoy nothing more than strolling through the hallowed halls of academe, thinking long and hard about the Big Questions. Sadly, this appears not to be the case. Clearly some are extremely bitchy types with a hugely OTT view of their own importance who stew for years over issues that most sane adults would shrug off pretty quickly.

Why have I come to this conclusion? Well, I just read a little gem of self-parody on Australia's epicentre of academic arsehattery. It's called The Conversation, but given that most contributors are so uniformly right-on The Pocket Pissing Circle Jerk for Tenured Tossers would be more apt, IMHO.

The author is one Patrick Stokes. This lecturer has clearly been suffering big time butthurt for years because Jamie Briggs made quite a reasonable point about public money being wasted on useless, wanky research grants and the like:

You gave four examples of ARC funded “projects that do little, if anything, to advance Australians [sic] research needs.” As I discussed on this site at the time, two of those four were projects in my field, philosophy.

Of course, ARC funding is insanely competitive, so those projects were more or less by definition world class contributions to the discipline. Yet you chose to ridicule them – and, by extension, the life’s work of people like me – all the same.

Wow. Seems to have taken it all very personally, hasn't he? Not philosophical about it at all ... 

Now that Briggs is going through the media mangler petty Patrick has decided to stick the knife in and twist, offering a philosophy themed reading list for Briggs to "help" him in his travails. His open letter stinks of smug superiority and shows that he is clearly savouring the former minister's public humiliation. 

Given that it has been published on a taxpayer funded site that presents itself as a serious journal of intellectual inquiry, its obvious personal malice is significant. And if a bloke like Stokes is typical of those in his field -- who, by valuing snark above scholarship put the, er, hoarse before the Descartes -- then it just lends more weight to Briggs's point about the waste of public funds, dunnit? 

And since Stokes ended his open epistle with a direct address, I'll reply to him in kind: 

Dear Pompous Prof,

Who the hell do you think you are? As I'm sure many a philosopher would tell you, your feelings don't matter at all in the grand scheme of things. So ditch the virtue signalling to all your sneering lefty mates and present a cogent, well thought out argument instead. 

But if you do wanna pen petty, nasty little rants then don't do so on a forum paid for by the people, okay. Publish 'em on your own dime, you parasitic little Kant, you!

Yours, in sincere stoicism,

Matt.

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