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__________



Feb 9, 2008, 3:48 PM

Post #101 of 127 (5118 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] Thirty-eight dishonest tricks [In reply to] Can't Post

($) sorry about the typos< the infelicitous prose_style> i"ve got the flu>>>and now>>>an uncooperative new laptop!


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rppohl


Feb 9, 2008, 4:24 PM

Post #102 of 127 (5103 views)
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Re: [motet] Thirty-eight dishonest tricks [In reply to] Can't Post

Dana,
Thanks for the clarification of your post. I, llke Junior Maas, have reservations about affirmative action. My feeling is that it relies too much on skin color and not enough on socio-economic status. I'm glad Grumpy clarified his position too. Junior plays an important role in these discussions by drawing people out with his sometimes provocative statements. It sounds as though Indiana takes many things into account with their position on encouraging diversity within the program. At least I hope that's true.


aiyamei

e-mail user

Feb 9, 2008, 5:58 PM

Post #103 of 127 (5060 views)
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Re: [motet] Thirty-eight dishonest tricks [In reply to] Can't Post

Dana, I just think that because you are in a position of power, it is paradoxically _less_ appropriate for you to crusade against Amory's techniques of argumentation than if you were one of the rabble. Rather than representing your opinion, whether you mean the effect or not, it comes off as you "policing" the boards. Theoretically I'd be all for policing that made sure everyone always used fair and balanced techniques of argumentation, but unfortunately there is no form of policing that will ever make all human beings think logically. This being the case, the effect of your intervention is to make it look like a witch hunt, a case of trying to 'purge the baddies', not because of what you say but because of what your role here is, the fact that all occasions of authority responding negatively to one person rather than strictly to the question of whether the larger situation has become problematic -- gives off a whiff of 'purging the baddies', rather than merely keeping things on track, which is how I would see the job of a moderator. Your authority means that every time you intervene, the lines you draw need to be extremely abstract, and really shouldn't include lines like, "usually the opinions you offer _are_ fair and balanced," "because you are you," etc. Anyway, that's my thinking on this. Obviously, since you are the moderator, you can and will run things as you please! I just notice that now Amory is stepping out of the discussion, as I would too if the moderator were policing me in this manner, which means that our devil's advocate is gone, and thus we will all fall back into agreeing with each other. That's nice, but it's also nice to have a debate, even if the opponent sometimes uses some shoddy techniques of argumentation.


piratelizzy


Feb 10, 2008, 2:46 AM

Post #104 of 127 (5016 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] Thirty-eight dishonest tricks [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
(2) I find it disgusting that I could be labeled a racist


Jun, Has someone called you a racist?


'sup?!


piratelizzy


Feb 10, 2008, 3:15 AM

Post #105 of 127 (5011 views)
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Re: [aiyamei] Thirty-eight dishonest tricks [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
it's also nice to have a debate, even if the opponent sometimes uses some shoddy techniques of argumentation.


I am a member of a U.S. "minority" and as such let me disagree with your position. These will be very broad terms, and I mean to apply them only in response to the part of your post that I'm quoting above. I think the discussion at hand in this thread benefits from a closer, more subtle analysis than this response is going to suggest. That analysis has to take into consideration issues specific to writing, and to writing programs. I addressed those issues specifically in my one other post above. I've yet to see a response to that post, by the way. So that while it's well to talk about not policing certain people out of the thread, I find it ironic that--in a sense--my "minority" perspective is de facto silenced when no one cares to respond to it.

On to brass tacks.

In my experience, there are already enough devil's advocates to contend with where concern issues of "affirmative action." (I use quotes to indicate that I regard the terms equivocally--I only use them as a concession to the needs of the discussion.) If your right to study, to work, to obtain housing, etc. were likely to be challenged just as soon as not the next time you applied for this or that, you might agree with me on this position, too. As things are now, I see "affirmative action" as a poor substitute for what should theoretically be a true pluralism. Until we get closer to that ideal in real terms, "aa" is all we "minorities" often have to protect us against out-and-out prejudice. From where I stand, one more devil's advocate is the last thing I want. Open dialogue, yes. Bickering and "shoddy techniques of argumentation," no.


'sup?!

(This post was edited by piratelizzy on Feb 10, 2008, 4:07 AM)


motet
Dana Davis / Moderator
e-mail user

Feb 10, 2008, 10:48 AM

Post #106 of 127 (4971 views)
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Re: [aiyamei] Thirty-eight dishonest tricks [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
because you are in a position of power, it is paradoxically _less_ appropriate for you to crusade against Amory's techniques of argumentation than if you were one of the rabble.


aiyamei, using the terms 'crusade' and 'rabble' is highly provocative and I strongly disagree with the characterization. My job here, however, is about moderating the techniques of argumentation not taking a position on the issue at hand. It is about monitoring the way in which the discussion is progressing and it applies whether someone is spewing curses (which Amory is not doing, lest anyone should question this) or simply misrepresenting other's words.


In Reply To

....unfortunately there is no form of policing that will ever make all human beings think logically.



You might be right. But is that a good reason not to point out the failure of logic in one's argument?


In Reply To

"witch hunt" "'purge the baddies"


Again, highly inflammatory characterizations.


In Reply To
"usually the opinions you offer _are_ fair and balanced,"


You have edited a direct quote, aiyamei. Do you see nothing problematic with this technique of debate?


This is first and foremost a writing board. Conversations about politics, religion and global warming may certainly be important to writers but they are not the reason why Poets & Writers created this forum. This board serves writers of fiction, poetry and those who may go on to be journalists, grant writers, legal scholars and a host of other writing occupations that might entail writing which will need to be compelling, persuasive and accurate. Discussions that involve examining the techniques of writing are very much appropriate here, perhaps more than the subject at hand.

Yes, it is nice to have a debate. But to fail to object to an opponent's use of shoddy techniques of argumentation in a forum about writing would be absolutely illogical.


unsaid78


Feb 10, 2008, 11:26 AM

Post #107 of 127 (4958 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] Thirty-eight dishonest tricks [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote

In Reply To
it's also nice to have a debate, even if the opponent sometimes uses some shoddy techniques of argumentation.


I am a member of a U.S. "minority" and as such let me disagree with your position. These will be very broad terms, and I mean to apply them only in response to the part of your post that I'm quoting above. I think the discussion at hand in this thread benefits from a closer, more subtle analysis than this response is going to suggest. That analysis has to take into consideration issues specific to writing, and to writing programs. I addressed those issues specifically in my one other post above. I've yet to see a response to that post, by the way. So that while it's well to talk about not policing certain people out of the thread, I find it ironic that--in a sense--my "minority" perspective is de facto silenced when no one cares to respond to it.

On to brass tacks.

In my experience, there are already enough devil's advocates to contend with where concern issues of "affirmative action." (I use quotes to indicate that I regard the terms equivocally--I only use them as a concession to the needs of the discussion.) If your right to study, to work, to obtain housing, etc. were likely to be challenged just as soon as not the next time you applied for this or that, you might agree with me on this position, too. As things are now, I see "affirmative action" as a poor substitute for what should theoretically be a true pluralism. Until we get closer to that ideal in real terms, "aa" is all we "minorities" often have to protect us against out-and-out prejudice. From where I stand, one more devil's advocate is the last thing I want. Open dialogue, yes. Bickering and "shoddy techniques of argumentation," no.





Well said piratelizzy!

I haven't seen everyone agreeing with the issue on this thread at all as other posters have stated so that doesn't justify any ugliness. Believe me, if we were all on one accord with this issue...I would have noticed lol. I've seen (some) people be respectful when differing opinions are expressed and now those people are being called out as if they've done something wrong. That can't be helpful to the discussion either.

So if the person who posted that they'd been accepted originally had appeared to be a minority still but stated that they got in at Iowa, Michener, or any other school besides Indiana, would anyone have questioned the legitimacy of their acceptance? Is this just an Indiana thing? My guess is that it is not.


www.mfachronicles.blogspot.com - Follow us as we begin our 1st years in MFA programs!


edwriter



Feb 10, 2008, 1:44 PM

Post #108 of 127 (4924 views)
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freedom to remain silent [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I've yet to see a response to that post, by the way. So that while it's well to talk about not policing certain people out of the thread, I find it ironic that--in a sense--my "minority" perspective is de facto silenced when no one cares to respond to it.


I find this reasoning highly questionable. As someone who put a great deal of time and thought into her participation in the similar thread that developed here about two years ago, I have plenty of reasons for not responding to any of the previous posts on this one. None of them have to do with "silencing" anyone.

Further, I'll go so far as to suggest that your (and anyone's) right to express yourself does not obligate me (or anyone on the Speakeasy) to publicly respond to, disagree, or agree with you. I hope you will reconsider your interpretation of lack of response to your post.

Best,
Erika D.





Quiet Americans: Stories
http://www.erikadreifus.com



augustmaria


Feb 10, 2008, 1:49 PM

Post #109 of 127 (4921 views)
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Re: [edwriter] freedom to remain silent [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey, no one responded to either of *my* two previous posts, and I'm the only active member on this board who actually GOES to Indiana. I think the myth of IU's program is probably more interesting than what it really is.

Oh, but we just got a new fiction professor who's joining us in the fall. If anyone's actually interested in what Indiana's really about.


BLUECHEESE


Feb 10, 2008, 2:15 PM

Post #110 of 127 (4906 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] freedom to remain silent [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, I was, on personal note, just interested in the topic in general terms (since I was more on the who cares if they do it portion of the above considerations/undertoned-yelling), not in terms of indiana specifically. But there seems to be this myth growing around indiana now (just within this thread), and I don't think it is at all legit. All MFA programs make choices, and I actually tend to think the effort to reach at diversity/opportunity is a good thing, so long as the consideration of it is made on an intricate level. Don't just take someone for the level of their skin, take them because they overcame something to get where they are because of it and other factors. There are schools who focus almost completely on in-state writers... should we start denouncing them, too? Should we send letters of protest to every book contest (often at university presses) that sponsors race/gender specific literary prizes? I don't think so.


Moonshade


Feb 11, 2008, 11:29 AM

Post #111 of 127 (4828 views)
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Re: [edwriter] freedom to remain silent [In reply to] Can't Post

I have zero interest in silencing any other posters opinions.

I haven't posted more on this topic because, at the moment, I've said all I need to say. My original question, which I repeated in my second post, remains unanswered. Why all hoopla over Indiana, because they focus on diversity, when there are plent of other schools with their own agenda-filled criteria?

I assume at some point it will be answered.

In the meantime, I'm not adverse to reading anyone else's opinion on this issue. If nothing else, this topic may provide some relief/distraction for those eagerly awaiting their responses. Or they can skip it all together. I've been reading the old diversity thread and see that this issue has been well-covered already.

(This post was edited by Moonshade on Feb 11, 2008, 11:44 AM)


bennyprof


Feb 11, 2008, 11:58 AM

Post #112 of 127 (4811 views)
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Post deleted by bennyprof [In reply to]

 


danielaolsz


Feb 11, 2008, 2:16 PM

Post #113 of 127 (4769 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] freedom to remain silent [In reply to] Can't Post

  


Quote
I think the simple answer to your question is that, with any discussion involving race or ethnicity, there will be hoopla, and lots of it. Now, whether or not said hoopla is warranted is another question altogether. The "diversity" issue will always be controversial, due largely to the fact that many whites feel Affirmative Action policies are inherently unfair and discriminatory. It hits them on a personal level, whereas, say, a policy of admitting only state residents does not.


I'm white and I am pro-affirmative action. With all due respect, I think a better way to phrase your feelings might go like this:

"some whites feel Affirmative Action policies are inherently unfair and discriminatory."

or,

"I feel that Affirmative Action policies are inherently unfair and discriminatory."


bennyprof


Feb 11, 2008, 2:38 PM

Post #114 of 127 (4759 views)
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Post deleted by bennyprof [In reply to]

 


__________



Feb 11, 2008, 2:47 PM

Post #115 of 127 (4751 views)
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Re: [danielaolsz] freedom to remain silent [In reply to] Can't Post

Like many of my friends, you can also be pro- affirmative action and feel it is inherently unfair and discriminatory.

I don't think it's very helpful or accurate to assume a person's race determines their stance on affirmative action. It creates a false 'us vs. them' dichotomy that obscures the issue.

And I know I've broken my self-imposed exile, here, but reading over the posts again, I wonder: are we all talking about the same 'affirmative action'? The very idea or practice has gone through several permutations. Friends have kindly pointed out that I may be railing against an outmoded model. Two of them -- each of a different minority -- were rejected by a prestigious college back in the day, even though they admitted white students with lesser grades. (They each had high marks, but not high enough for their racial category). Ask them if they benefited from affirmative action! Anyway, they assure me that that model has mostly disappeared. And reading over a few of these posts, some people seem to take 'affirmative action' to mean nothing more than a school reaching out to various minority groups, creating a tolerant environment, etc. In other words, things you would expect any school to do, without necessarily making race an admissions factor that trumps things like grades.

I hate to be the goofball that says, Let's all define our terms! But really, I think it might be needed.

(And poof! I'm gone again...)





six five four three two one 0 ->

(This post was edited by Junior Maas on Feb 11, 2008, 3:05 PM)


danielaolsz


Feb 11, 2008, 3:18 PM

Post #116 of 127 (4731 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] freedom to remain silent [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Had I phrased it "most whites feel Affirmative Action policies are inherently unfair and discriminatory" then you'd have a good reason to claim I was making a gross generalization.

You're correct, writing, "many whites feel," is not wrong; this is why I phrased my criticism as "a better way to phrase it might be..." If I felt your statement was a gross generalization, then I would have written "I feel that your statement is a gross generalization."


Quote
However, I'm confident that the millions of Americans who oppose these policies more than justify using the word "many" in this context. Although, sure, I suppose "some" would also work.


I stand by my observation that the phrase "many whites feel" is subtly misleading.

Millions of white people are against affirmative action.
Millions of white people are for affirmative action.
Millions of people of color are against affirmative action.
Millions of people of color are for affirmative action.

In my opinion, "some whites feel" is a more appropriate choice.



Quote
Being pro-affirmative action, however, doesn't mean I don't see the validity of the other side of the debate.




I am quite glad. I too try my hardest to see the validity of the other side(s) of the debate.


bennyprof


Feb 11, 2008, 3:36 PM

Post #117 of 127 (4716 views)
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Scrat1


Feb 11, 2008, 5:28 PM

Post #118 of 127 (4671 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] freedom to remain silent [In reply to] Can't Post

Food for thought:

The gap between male and female students enrolled in college is large (roughly 60/40 across the board) and growing quickly. Should there be affirmitive action there?


Glyph


Feb 11, 2008, 7:50 PM

Post #119 of 127 (4628 views)
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Re: [Scrat1] freedom to remain silent [In reply to] Can't Post

Is it 60 male/40 female, or the other way around? Just curious. For some reason, I thought that more women than men enrolled in college these days.

It's interesting to bring this up, though, because when all-male colleges began to admit women, I imagine that many of the institutions had a certain "quota" to fill in terms of the # of women they had to admit. They would have to do this in order to get around the bias that many men on the admissions committees had against women, whom they considered to be less intelligent/less capable than men. Also, I wonder if their admissions standards were lower for women due to the fact that girls generally did not receive as "well-rounded" of an education as boys and were less academically prepared for college (due, obviously, to the fact that society did not systematically prepare them for such a course in life). It's an interesting parallel. And, I wonder, when did those formerly all-male colleges stop filling a quota of female students?


Scrat1


Feb 11, 2008, 8:01 PM

Post #120 of 127 (4620 views)
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Re: [Glyph] freedom to remain silent [In reply to] Can't Post

60% female/40% male


motet
Dana Davis / Moderator
e-mail user

Feb 12, 2008, 8:34 AM

Post #121 of 127 (4553 views)
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Re: [edwriter] freedom to remain silent [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Further, I'll go so far as to suggest that your (and anyone's) right to express yourself does not obligate me (or anyone on the Speakeasy) to publicly respond to, disagree, or agree with you.


Erika, you make a good point. However, your point and piratelizzy's are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Of course, no one is obligated to speak, hire, admit, etc. But the lack of something can and often does have as much of an effect as the commission of something. In other words, failing to admit someone to a program, not hiring someone for a job, or remaining silent in a conversation does have an effect, even if only for the person apply for the program, the job or asking a question and often more widespread.

I'm not asserting what effect it has, only that it does. So piratelizzy's use of ther term de facto, seems accurate in terms of having, in some way, a real and practical effect.


danielaolsz


Feb 12, 2008, 8:29 PM

Post #122 of 127 (4514 views)
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Re: [Scrat1] freedom to remain silent [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Food for thought:

The gap between male and female students enrolled in college is large (roughly 60/40 across the board) and growing quickly. Should there be affirmitive action there?


Despite this, men are still out-publishing women (at least as far as poetry is concerned).

http://humanities.uchicago.edu/..._532_Spahr_Young.pdf

http://humanities.uchicago.edu/..._532_Kotin_Baird.pdf


gcsumfa


Feb 12, 2008, 11:04 PM

Post #123 of 127 (4479 views)
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Re: [Scrat1] freedom to remain silent [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Food for thought:

The gap between male and female students enrolled in college is large (roughly 60/40 across the board) and growing quickly. Should there be affirmitive action there?


There are "aa" measures (if you will) for males seeking admission to universities these days. I know several admission officers and they have all told me that it's easier to get into a competitive school these days as a male than as a female, because of the growing disparity you point out.


(This post was edited by gcsumfa on Feb 12, 2008, 11:08 PM)


chelbeewrites


Feb 20, 2008, 5:49 PM

Post #124 of 127 (4397 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] freedom to remain silent [In reply to] Can't Post

I have been just read through this entire thread and wanted to add my two cents.

When I started looking into programs, I specifically looked for programs that selected students based on their writing, not test scores. I personally don't think a test has anything to do with someone's ability to tell a story. I think it's great that programs encourage diversity, mostly because to me, they are saying it's importance for a variety of stories to be told.

In both film and literature, there is so many of the same stories that are told over and over again, many of which fall into the category of being authored by white men. Not because these particular white men are necessarily better writers, but because many have more access to resources that enable them to get published. That's a fact that is hard to argue.

I am multi-ethnic but you could not tell that by my name nor my writing sample. The only thing on my application that states my race is the box i checked even though it was optional. I am hoping that the school that accepts me into their program (*please please*) will pick first because they saw something in my writing sample and believe I can contribute something to the program. But also, I hope that whatever workshop I am a working with will be full of other writers that have a variety of perspectives to contribute.

Call it what you want...


(This post was edited by chelbeewrites on Feb 20, 2008, 5:53 PM)


v1ctorya


Oct 21, 2008, 2:15 PM

Post #125 of 127 (4211 views)
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Re: [chelbeewrites] freedom to remain silent [In reply to] Can't Post

New question for an old thread:

Any of you doing the 'diversity' essays that these schools ask for? I'm feeling it as a double edged sword almost, like, if I get in and get the diversity scholarship, YEAH! However, I hate going in as being set apart, so to speak.

Also, at least cornell asks you to describe how you had a disadvantageous childhood in the essay, seems a little off-putting. "My life was bad because.. . ."

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