Friday, July 11, 2008

"That's why vegans are always rummaging through the garbage at McDonalds."

Fanshawe Girl 1: I would never buy first hand fur.
Fanshawe Girl 2: Yeah, but I would buy second hand fur. It's not like you can rewind it. The animal is already dead.

- White Oaks Mall, Overheard by Anonymous


Anonymous bresciarocks said...

Brescia: Women who can change the world.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respect the overall sentiment of your statement, Brescia, but the attempt to mimic the Ivey vs Everyone Else on Campus war is overdone and kind of old now.

Aside from that, as a vegan, the title of this submission made me giggle. Kudos.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:01 - this is different, you idiot, because Brescia is a seperate school, so it's not us versus "everyone else on campus".

Plus, Brescia's slogan really IS "women who can change the world", and it's true. Brescia Women have fresh ideas on how to better society, without the taint of male-dominated preconceptions.

Brescia Pride, bitches!!!

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brescia: Women who can change the world.

IVEY: People who can RULE the world.

Faculty of Arts: People who will work for the IVEY students.

Faculty of Visual Arts: People who will stand in the unemployment line.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did it ever occur to you, 3:32, that the best place to spread radical feminist ideas is probably not a humor blog?

Take it to the streets and get some banners.

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brescia: Women who can change the world's babies

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:17 - Well played. That was one of the funniest thing's I've read on here in a while.

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

um, exsqueeze me, 7:59, but it will be MIT and Engineering who will rule the world... Ivey will working for US.

1:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:49 - I could maybe see where the claim "Engineering is better than Ivey" is coming from...

But MIT? Seriously... MIT? The Faculty of Media, Information and Technology itself? Better than Ivey? BAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

What sort of valuable job skills does MIT teach you other than to whine about how the evil capitalist media is exploiting poor people or somesuch nonsense?

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:29... sit in on one of our information or tech classes and then see how long you last.

11:54 PM  
Blogger Pietr said...

I'm reminded of the Blasius boundary layer solution at times like this.

2:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:54 - sit in one of our value investing classes and see how long you last.

MIT being better than Ivey is the dumbest thing I've ever read on here. I had a couple friends at Ivey who were in MIT before coming into the HBA program, and they said all it was about was leftist profs going off about the villainy of media concentration and shit, with very little of substance.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is there any possibility that maybe, just MAYBE - the two have different things to offer and thus aren't really comparable?
i've had this argument with friends who think that doctors are idiots because they have to go to a mechanic to fix their cars, thus making them, the mechanics smarter. which is bullshit. people are good at different things. yeah saving lives is important, but 90% that's not what doctors are doing, but still, the mechanic couldn't do that job as well. but being able to get to the hospital, or really anywhere else, also very important.
media is important. you see this in countries that begin to lose their democracy. but so is the economy.
i could see "our business program is better than queen's!" etc, since you're comparing similar things, but it doesn't make sense to do it in an inter-faculty sense.
and if you're both so narrow minded as to not see the value in other faculties, well, we live in a multi-disciplinary world. good luck progressing in your profession with such a limited view.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ I'm sorry, but your argument is total nonsense.

Many programs, you could reasonably argue, serve some vital social need- society needs doctors, engineers, businesspeople, as well as plumbers and mechanics.

What need, exactly, is served by MIT?

If it were a straightfoward journalism degree, I could understand the point of MIT.

However, having had friends who were TA's MIT courses, and having seen the material MIT students read and submit, it's clear that MIT is useless. Most of it consists of uncritical recitation of leftist media theory, without those theories being examined.

I'm sorry, but if you can get A's by simply reguritating crap written by Naomi Klein, your degree is worthless. What function does it serve? "Professional Socialist Whiner"?

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:43 - Thank you. You summed up my feelings on the matter EXACTLY.

An MIT degree is a useless certification in leftist rhetoric. I've been told by many people (some in the faculty itself) that MIT is blatantly and unapologetically biased.

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah..but so is nearly everything.
i've taken blatantly biased anthro and history classes (most north american history especially is extremely eurocentric, leaving natives entirely out of the picture in things they were a huge part of), and also blatantly sexist.
i've found the same thing in medicine. most drug studies are done on white men, as women's cycling hormones would "skew" the data - which apparently doesn't make it unethical to prescribe it to them. after decades of studying heart attacks, we are just now understanding that women present with very different symptoms in women. it's also true that even though drug metabolism can vary widely amongst races, they're mainly tested on whites - to include minorities would "skew" the data - yet we give them the same, potentially dangerous dose anyway.
the thing with faculties like MIT and women's studies, is that they are biased in a way that is different than the biases we are taught more subtly throughout life. so we notice it more. consider it a correcting measure.
it's also interesting to see this in the context of western itself - one of the most unapologetically conservative campuses in ontario.

2:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^Sure, there are biases in other faculty as well, but at least Medicine attempts to teach something that is socially useful and objectively measureable.

MIT, in contrast, imparts no useful intellectual skill. If it taught students how to be journalists or advertisers, that would be one thing- but it does not.

Additionally, unlike history, anthro, or some other faculties, MIT has absurdly low reading and writing requirements and standards.

I would suggest that the difference between say, history, and MIT or women's studies (to some extent is that traditional disciplines tend to teach ideas that are testable- and can therefore be disproven or disputed. Less tradtional programs tend to be more postmodern, which means they ignore objective truth enitrely and can teach intellectual junk science with o accountability.

Finally, while UWO is fairly conservative by university standards, it only appears so because most universities are far to the left of mainstream political thought (see York, Trent, Concordia,etc). UWO merely stands out because it lacks the leftist ideology of most campuses and is broadly mainstream-centerist (meaning- will say good things about capitalism and "the west" occiasionally_

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Testable means nothing. I've spent over five years in traditional sciences. In order to pass these the mcq tests (the easiest way to evaluate), I've learned to memorize minute (non-job applicable) detail the week before and forget it immediately afterwards. None of this makes me a more useful person, and the grade doesn't really reflect how good I'd be at really any career, unless that career was short-term memorization.
I think you're missing the point of university. If you're looking for something directly applicable to a vocation - go to college. University is more about academic learning and research, i.e. expanding your way of thinking, challenging yourself intellectually, etc. Women's studies are immensely important in determining policy that needs to be put in place for things such as domestic violence, re-evaluating the content of curricula, and how we see ourselves and our portrayed (men and women). These things are important, especially at a school with Western's rep for its treatment of women. MIT - same deal. Teaching students to be critical of the world around them is not an un-useful skill, and unlike blind memorization, can actually be applied to many jobs.
"We will say good things about capitalism and "the west" occasionally". Sure. But that's what we've all been taught to think growing up - any idiot can be patriotic. We're also not perfect - and it's a little more difficult to look at ways to improve. Heaven forbid someone expect you to make that effort.
I see what you're saying about the idiots who blindly follow any ideology - including leftist, but every faculty has those - science has plenty who believe it to be absolute truth (just a side note - science is EXTREMELY subjective - any one who sees it differently has never done research).

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:25: I agree that university should teach you to be critical.

The problem with programs like MIT and Women's Studies is that they don't examine themselves and their own viewpoints. It's unchallenged indoctrination. As an MIT student, your peers and faculty EXPECT you to talk about how the evil corporation are using the media to rape the environment. Or as a Women's Studies major, you're EXPECTED to rant about how all the problems in society are the fault of those terrible men and their conspiracy to dominate women. There's very little room for dissent in those facluties. In departments like political science, at least there's a healthy spectrum of viewpoints presented and debated. In the more postmodern faculties, you're basically expected to parrot the leftist viewes of your profs with little real regard for objective truth.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:25, you make three errors, as I see them, in your (generally thoughtful) post.

First, I did not say that a faculty needs to apply specifically to a vocation- I said it needs to teach a socially useful skill set or way of thinking. MIT and Women's studies do neither. Why? because, unlike, say, Philosophy or History, they do not involve the real critical examination of material. Being able to mouth a specific viewpoint for credit, after hearing nothing but that viewpoint in the material (there are courses where the enitre reading list consists of one book by Naomi Klien, for example) is not one of these.

I agree wholeheartedly that one of the purposes of university is to develop critical reasoning abilities in the students- sadly, courses that are based on ideology and refuse to subject their ideas to objective examination do NOT serve this purpose.

Secondly, I would argue that there is nothing easy or uncritical in standing up for the value of either western civilization or capitialism as a university. North American Universities are dangerously lacking in intellectual diversity, overwhelmingly leaning to the radical left- in the US (I don't have the figures for Canada) self-described leftists among faculty outnumber conservatives by between 8 and 33 to 1, depending on the school. I would argue that it is necessary and beneficial to have a few "conservative" schools.

Also, you seem to misunderstand the meaning of "testable" (this may have been my fault for using the word). By "testable" I meant "objectively verifiable" and opposed to "testable" in a purely pedagogical sense.

For example, engineering is clearly objectively testable- either buildings fall down or they don't- similarly with hard sciences- physics, while debated, still deals with the study of an actual tangible thing. Philosopy, and some other soical sciences, have a rich and rigourous tradition of examining the real consequences of ideas and their relation to reality.
In contrast, Women's Studies and MIT, along with some other programs in the grip of postmodern nonsense, deny the entire validity of the search for objective truth- they are inherently subjective areas that cannot bear any relation to reality.

Let me put it this way: It is easy to imagine the intellectual and social consequences of a world with no historians- how would we be worse off in a world without MIT gradutates?

2:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:05 - a very well-thought out post.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to how many have taken courses in these faculties.
I can't vouch much for MIT. I can for Women's Studies - many viewpoints are taken into consideration during discussion. I've actually written multiple essays for these classes, which were marked as to their accuracy with respect to my sources, and how sound my arguments were - much like history and philosophy. I also had to write book reviews - which, criticized feminism. Feminist theory ranges from very conservative to very liberal - essentially because people can think what they want, so long as their argument is based on the premise that women deserve equal treatment as men (which means essentially believing in basic human rights). It's not about evil men attempting to dominate - it's about examining how our gender socialization, and our past history have created certain issues in our society. As an individual who has worked in clinics that have had many women come in raped and brutally attacked (often left for dead) by family members and former partners - we have a long way to go. Women's studies works unbelievably hard to look at how we can tackle these issues. Look at most movies - women are the attractive sidekick often at best, usually very one-dimensional as well. Important women are left out of history books. Even look at current politics - we still live in a world where it's a shocker that a woman run for President, and a discussion even takes place about whether this is possible. We have a long way to go. We also still live in a world where 1/4 girls will be sexually assaulted in university. Women's studies looks into things like this, and what can be done to improve this situation.
How is this not useful to society?
And for the record - as far as not being open to dissent - try supporting natural medicine in a med school class - see how far it gets you. Biomed is gold and that's that.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ With all due respect, I think what you've described is an idealized version of the faculty- the reality- as I and many other people have experianced it- is somewhat different.

First, if Women's studies DID focus entirely on solving true practial social problems like domestic violence (which is, of course, a huge issue) the utility would be unquestionable. But modern women's studies tends to focus on increasingly bizarre and obscure examples often ones with little impact on the welfare of ordinary women- except Women's Studies professors, who of course need something about which to write.

A significant problem in Women's studies, as many people have found, is that much of the theory is self-contained with no means of being subjected to tests by reality- that is, the theory is unscientific- and if somone points this out they are quickly accused of gender bias. Often, this untestable theory is hidden behind unecessarily elaborate terminology as an attempt to conceal the flaws in the ideas being advanced.

Third, because it emphasizes gender socialization in all cases, Women's Studies tends to try to find socialization as the cause of every reference to gender or of every gender difference. Even the definition of "equal treatment" tends to be skewed by this. Often, dissenting arguments are dismissed because they do not achieve an ideologically comfortable result. Try arguing for innate gender differences sometime- the result, at least as I have seen it- is never pretty.

It is rather like having an economics faculty consisting entirely of Marxists or a psychology department staffed entirely by Freudians- it has a tendancy to attribute every phenomena to the same cause. One of my good friends is a conservative femminist who routinely voices her perspective in an intellegent and respectful (if strident) manner- the hostility she encounters for this is real.

To summarize, I would entirely agree that Women's Studies could be very valuable IF it were taught in the manner you describe. Right now, however, I would suggest that it suffers from a detachement from real social problems, an undue emphasis on impractical and untestable theory, and an ideological agenda that seeks to perpetuate the genre by attributing everything to a single cause. It is, of course, not the only social science that does this.

1:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:32 - I think you meant to write "Brescia: Proud Bitches".

10:49 PM  
Blogger dollymabis said...

mmm meat.

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favourite thing about this site is that no matter how funny the comment overheard at Western is, it always seems to turn into an argument... just enjoy the fun of the post!

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:18 - I don't know what faculty you're in, but I can guarantee it sucks compared to the Richard Ivey School of Business.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MIT is useful... if it's the university you're talking about

1:21 PM  
Blogger bp said...

Hahahah (:

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:30 I bet 3:18 doesn't have to pay arms and legs and grandma's retirement in order to get a piece of paper.

I agree with 3:18, the post is fun, and how the hell did the whole campus war start? Who cares about what campus or program people are in. Whether you end up doing what your major is depends on the person. And we all know not EVERYONE will make it through university.

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never thought this day would come; when Western students stopped saying stupid things. Perhaps it is just that we have been 'desensitized', and are no longer able to overhear such things. Nevertheless, it is a loss either way.

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Jack Bauer, I'm a Federal Agent!!!

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:11 am:

I don't think that's the case. I have heard two things which have been submitted, but I haven't heard anything back from the moderators. I think they've gotten too busy to update the site regularly, which makes me sad. :(

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa, some of you people don't know about the non wannabe leftist assholes in FIMS. The MLIS program actually isn't full of polemic leftist propaganda, and actually teaches useful skills to its students, including much of the business management and budgeting that is taught at Ivey. But then, they also forget to teach us the most important thing that Ivey teaches: how to be a condescending asshole to everyone.

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone see the Gazette article in the op-ed section today (Friday) about Ivey?

As much as we hate on Ivey, the MOS student who wrote it sounds like a jealous d-bag!

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:30pm is the funniest one

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, this blog is clearly dead... too bad - it was fun while it lasted...

1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow... so what I understand from this argument is
1)a degree that doesn't impart so called "valuable skills" and lead directly into a job is useless
2)that absolutely no one has any clue about what MIT actually is (Aside from subjective second hand knowledge of a handful of first year classes, I haven't heard one truthful claim about MIT)

Clearly one thing that is not taught at Ivey is how to do research.... Go to and you will see that not only does FIMS have practical Journalism, MLIS, and Media Theory and Production programs which do teach practical skill sets leading to specific careers. And, if you really want to blow your mind... check out an upper year MIT course list such as this
where you will see a wide variety of topics covered (in other words... it is an interdisciplinary program...) --- including (GASP) web design and journalism courses and real life practical internships!

Anyways.... I thought that the point of going to university WAS to be critical, to question things... not just to be "trained" ....

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ But IVEY teaches all of the above... AND it leads to a nice well-paying career.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone considered that University is not about career training? Speaking about "practical uses" of different degrees seems to miss the value of Universities as institutions of higher learning.

Learning how to do a specific job is more the realm of career colleges.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, MIT is taking a lot of heat on here. It seems people are forgetting about what university is all about. People go to university to get (eventually) a job, but they also go to get an education. If you think the university is a business, and you're eager to run off to Bay St and make six figures, fine. But don't tell other people who want to learn something critical that they their degree is useless. The university has, up until 30 or 40 years go, been a place of learning, not a degree factory...

1:58 AM  

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