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MIT's terror against Walter Lewin's lectures is unacceptable

Banned lectures and rewritten history resemble Nazism

Update: Jason seems to claim that all this MIT-wide scandal was caused by one sentence that Walter Lewin tweeted, "queefing [=vaginal farting] is yours", in a childish conversation about a plan to create a water company that two girls started with him. If true, it's quite unbelievable.
Prof Walter Lewin has been a hero of the open courses. His online MIT courses on physics – usually "rather elementary" physics – have attracted millions of viewers. You may perhaps find some cool videos on YouTube or you may directly go to an otherwise obscure backup at VideoLectures.NET.



I recommend you e.g. this lecture on mechanical energy where Lewin offered his life for the claim that the energy is conserved. He said "if I don't succeed in giving the heavy ball the zero speed, this will be my last lecture". The world is a šitty place, however, so the zero speed wasn't a sufficient condition.

Dilaton has noticed an MIT press release (see also NYT) that proudly informs that a student has complained about some online communication with Lewin. A committee has determined that he has violated a "sexual harassment" regulation at MIT.

The result? They removed all of his videos from MIT websites and declared that his title "professor emeritus" is no longer valid.




The former act resembles the Nazis' and Stalinists' approach to inconvenient scientists, the latter act is just nonsense. Of course that professor emeritus Walter Lewin is still a professor emeritus. Just check the definition:
A full professor who retires in good standing may be referred to as a professor emeritus for men, or professor emerita for women. This title is also given to retired professors who continue to teach and to be listed; they may also draw a very large percentage of their last salary as pension. ...
Professor emeritus Walter Lewin has clearly retired in good standing so he may demonstrably be referred to as a professor emeritus and I will consistently do so. You may be a provost of MIT and scream that professor emeritus Lewin is no longer a professor emeritus but you may only prove that you are a nasty jerk, not that professor emeritus Walter Lewin is no longer what he is.




The removal of the videos that have taught lots of physics to millions of people – and had the capacity to teach many key things about physics to many others - is unforgivable. Whatever professor emeritus Lewin has done isn't a sin made by these physics videos. The videos – and the scientific knowledge in them – can't be held accountable for any sins, real or perceived ones.

Concerning his sins, I don't know what has really happened. However, because the "offenses" were described as a part of online communication, I know what could have happened according to the laws of physics. Not much. It is not really possible to rape someone online. So what could have professor emeritus Walter Lewin done? He has probably written something.

What could he have written? Perhaps:
If you really like physics, babe, you should also come here and have some games with me, a 79-year-old physicist.
You know, the problem is that the other side of this conversation may simply reply
Thank you, professor emeritus, I am honored by your offer but I am not sufficiently into physics for this plan to come true.
Another detail you could consider important is that the hypothetical proposition by professor emeritus Lewin above is true. If she (or he?) really liked physics, she (or he?) would prefer similar physics gurus. ;-)

Just a month after the shockingly low-brow, shirt-inspired feminist assault on the Rosetta scientist Matt Taylor whose collaboration has amazingly landed on a comet, the removal of the celebrated videos is another example of the ever more stunning arrogance of feminism and its self-perceived right to stand above everything else. Above every individual. Above the human civilization and its great achievements.

We sometimes talk about the Nazis' pressure on scientists and science and consider it an unacceptable horror story. But what the feminists – female and male ones – are doing these days isn't too much different.

James Watson: silver lining

Sometimes, there are people who fix some of the problems created by the despicable politically correct Nazis. James Watson, the co-discoverer of DNA, was downgraded to an "unperson" and needed to sell the Nobel prize medal to return to the material conditions he has gotten used to.

It's a pleasure to tell you that a Russian billionaire – the richest man in the country – Alisher Usmanov bought the medal for $4.1 million. And what will he do with the medal? He will donate the medal back to James Watson because that's where it belongs!

This is a typical example of the reasons why I consider the influence of Russia on the world to be a self-evident net positive for the world. Russian folks are helping to fix some of the most outrageous deformations that became common in the Western world. Thank you very much, Mr Usmanov. I know that these six words aren't a truly adequate compensation for $4.1 million but if my wealth were $15.8 billion, I would arguably do the same thing as Mr Usmanov! ;-)

BTW don't you want to buy my silver candlestick from the Harvard Society of Fellows? ;-)

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reader Giotis said...

Anothe manifistation of horseshoe:


political correctness at its extreme = fascism


reader Dilaton said...

Thanks for this important article Lumo !

If I had more trust into Facebook, I would probably organize a support campaign for Prof. Lewin with the goal to reinstall the video lectures, there. It would certainly find a not negligle amount of support from people who liked his courses.

It can not be excluded that it happens next to Lenny Susskind and his immensely nice video le tures, for example because some LQG folks dont like his "glub glub" comment and take the opportunity for revenge ...

Mr. Usmanov seems to be a very nice guy, I second Lumo' s thanks to him.
He has just joined my personal list of great people :-)


reader John McVirgo said...

The electricity and magnetism course Prof Lewin was involved in has sadly been removed from edx.org.

It's pretty astounding that there's courses such as:

Topology in Condensed Matter: Tying Quantum Knots

Where you get free course material, some tuition, and a certificate at the end -- for free!


reader John Archer said...

Well done, Luboš and Dilaton (I saw your earlier note about it on another thread), for highlighting this.

And well done to Mr Thank you.

I hope something thoroughly nasty—terminally nasty even—happens to those responsible for these nazi-like victimisations. I'd like to think there was a Breivik moment coming to them all. Only with a fucking pliers, nitric acid and a chain saw instead nice, quick bullets.

To those who demur from this sentiment: fuck you too.


reader Rehbock said...

Almost half a century ago i was applying to college. With my scores and science interests, thought I should apply. But I knew how much I struggled at some of the math and how it was filled with geniuses decided I was not smart enough.
Seems I was wrong. I and most people I know are smarter than this bunch. How can the videos be harassing? The story features no allegations of threats, violence, assault, or underage people. He is a private citizen and it is not sexual harassment just because someone has secretly so decided. I see no charges of crime. Just some panel to whom anyone apparently can -by email posted on MIT - report sexual harassment.
As I said it has been half a century since I started thinking about college. I don't remember sexual harassment being the equivalent of carrying Ebola back then. If it had we never would have heard or seen Richard Feynman. I know I should pick on other great scientists too.
He is not a serial killer, rapist, or even traffic offender. Even if he were, scrubbing valuable works from the shelves is the worst form of censorship.


reader newbye said...

before you start admiring Alisher Usmanov, would you search what he did and how many people he might have ordered to kill. He is not just a businessman, he is a russian businessman, and that is a different story, you know.

But yes, for you it is just " the enemy of my enemy is my friend, whatever he did"


reader Luboš Motl said...

Hi, I will happily and generously leave these conspiracy theories to individuals at your level.


No reliable enough sources imply anything of the sort. In 1980, he was convicted of fraud charges in Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alisher_Usmanov#Brief_biography



and he was rehabilitated by the country's supreme court in 2000 when the evidence was quoted to have been fabricated.


Incidentally, you use the mail.ru e-mail - he is a major shareholder of mail.ru, too.


reader William said...

What I'm going to say now is highly speculative, but a while ago, I saw Walter Lewin in a Dutch talk show and he seemed to suffer from Parkinson's disease. His head went up and down repeatedly and he suffered from eye twitches as well; in other words, he had motor tics. In some of his later videos, this is visible too. If the tics are indeed due to PD, it could be relevant, because PD is treated with dopamine agonists. Through lowering of impulse control, these drugs can change a normal person in a rampant sex addict. This might explain why this man - who previously never had any problems during his long career at MIT - now approached younger students online, at old age, with some indecent, but harmless proposals.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2802936/drugs-parkinson-s-disease-turn-patients-gamblers-sex-addicts-compulsive-shoppers.html

I already agreed with everything you've said, but if my hunch is correct, the situation is even worse! They might have terrorized a diseased man who lacks the capability to control himself.


reader NikFromNYC said...

MIT harbors both John Gruber of Obamacare and third party social justice warrior / climate justice warrior Jason Pontin of the MIT Technology Review who bashes skeptics and even went after #GamerGate on Twitter.


reader Uncle Al said...

Bailey Hankins said, "I did not know I had been date-raped until the check she gave me bounced." Mulieres taceres in ecclesia. Mulieres taceres quid de statu. Mulieres taceres de te ipso.

Usmanov built his wealth through metal and mining operations, and investments. He created a better, more affluent world. He earned his wealth. Uzbek Muslim Usmanov married Jewish Irina Viner. The fellow stands above the mob. He's a mensch. The Right creates, the Left consumes.


reader br said...

The statements from MIT are bizarre. We have:
"She provided information about Lewin’s interactions with her, which began when she was a learner in one of his MITx courses"
The 'incidents' happened when he was teaching online.

"At the time MIT received the complaint, Lewin was not teaching any courses... He last taught an online MITx course in fall 2013"
Lewin is currently not teaching online.

"MIT is indefinitely removing Lewin’s online courses, in the interest of preventing any further inappropriate behavior"
So... if he is no longer teaching online, what is this all about??? Surely it would have been sufficient to just ask him to carry on not teaching online, or stronger, block his account until the issue is somehow resolved?

I admire anyone who puts him/herself online to explain physics. I had (note past tense) a group of friends who agreed amongst themselves that physicists were a closed bunch who try to keep out others by using impenetrable jargon and publishing behind pay-walls. This was despite the huge availability of free online material. Removal of well explained online material is a rubbish decision.


reader jon said...

It appears that MIT has a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment. Fine. I just wish that applied to Gruber as well. He has raped the entire country.


reader Rehbock said...

This man did one of the nicest things someone could do with his money. We need that kind of man business and otherwise.


reader Shannon said...

Oh that explains his success then. He earned his wealth but he must have had some goody goody loans from banks too. He married a jew? gosh! it does earn his wealth then :-)


reader RMB said...

Perhaps this has already been posted, but from Scott Aaronson's site, here is a link to where his lectures are legally posted and probably will not be removed:


http://videolectures.net/walter_h_g_lewin/


reader Werdna said...

Woodnfish, I appreciate your passion, but the word of numerous black eyewitnesses would be good enough for me whether there was a grand jury or not. The evidence presented to them is a matter of public record.



I have no particular desire to debate the particulars of the American justice system. Perhaps you are right about Grand Juries (the Garner case would suggest you are), but that doesn't mean having a jury trial would have had a different outcome, in that particular case. On that score, again, we must examine the evidence. It's pretty clear to me. But you're entitled to believe otherwise.


reader Tim said...

Since he was fired, he is no longer Professor Emeritus, since that was his job title and...he was fired. It's as simple as that.

Also Crick and Watson stole important data from Rosalind Franklin, so he gets no sympathy from me.


reader Jeff Wood said...

RMB, many thanks: I have bookmarked that site. I was recently brooding that my school physics from long ago was inadequate and rusty.

I have great insufficiency of political correctness, and am very glad I am not a student or an academic.


reader Honza said...

Dear woodnefish, I suspect that what you are saying is bullsh!t, but perhaps you can point me to some reasonable data source. Anything I can find is bellow thousand, more likely below 500 killings bypolice in USA per year. So where exactly are those thousands coming from, if not your fantasy?


reader Mikael said...

Sad to hear. Lubos. Lewin is such a nice person and such an enthusiastic and fine physicist. It is very hard to imagine that he could do anything harmful to anybody. Anyway you cannot do anything truly sexually harmful online. If he really acted inappropriately maybe it is ok to stop him from given any further online lectures. But altering the past in this Stalinistic way for an online harassment? His recorded lectures are totally fine and fantastic and nobody could ever be harmed by them. I could maybe have a bit of understanding for this kind of action if somebody committed a capital real world crime but even that couldn't really harm his fantastic lectures. People who decide in this may must have lost any kind of appropriate judgement.


reader woodnfish said...

The evidence was not properly examined because it was a kangaroo court. Therefore it is meaningless, as is the testimony because there was no cross examination. This was a sham legal procedure, nothing more, and the murdered Michael Brown is still dead as is Eric Gardner, and Miriam Kelly (DC), and Wendy Lawrence (NH), and the list goes on into the thousands every year. Cops suck and when they don't suck they blow.


Anyway, nice to chat with you again Werdna.


reader QsaTheory said...

I think Lubos will be even more mad if he finds out that "sexual harassment" term was invented in Harvard by

Mary Rowe

http://mitsloan.mit.edu/faculty/detail.php?in_spseqno=41344


reader tomandersen said...

MIT went down a few notches for a lot of people today.


reader Tony said...

I guess we are approaching this stage:

http://www.library.arizona.edu/exhibits/burnedbooks/documents.htm

(warning; has a pic of Nazis going through sexually-oriented material)


reader Tony said...

Let me add that you can easily get Mein Kampf in America (not that I would prohibit it), but no, that is too low a standard for MIT sex-obsessed PC-Nazis.


reader Tony said...

Judging by some comments on Scott Aaronson's blog, from people who claim to have known him and his antics pretty well, that doesn't seem too far fetched.


reader Stephen Dedalus said...

What's the point in deleting his lectures?
What's the next step, renaming Stark effect? Withdraw Lenard nobel? Because ofc, if someone is nazi, the science he makes must be terrible and need to be censored. (extreme example)
I don't think prof. Lewins did something that bad that couldn't be solved with a public apology. However, if he did something terrible (I don't know...maybe some videos with his dick in the place of a pendulum), there's absolutely no reason to remove his videos.


reader Uncle Al said...

After he survives Friday dinner, the rest of the week is wind at his back.


reader Jason said...

wow! Can't believe that a university behaves so naively. A 78-years old man did "online sexual harm"? Why the public are so week today? There will be a day that parents can't educate their child at all because yielding at them will be publicly unacceptable.


reader Luboš Motl said...

No, "professor emeritus" was the title used to refer to him during the job but he was a professor emeritus before he would take a particular post-retirement job, and he will be professor emeritus afterwards, too.


"Professor emeritus" becomes the right title for every professor who is in good standing at the moment of retirement. Find the definitions.


This kind of (double) libel is unacceptable in this comment section so I instantly blacklisted you.


reader Shannon said...

Lol!


reader Luboš Motl said...

You say "someone is Nazi".... Well, the science was usually attacked because someone was Jewish or something like that.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsche_Physik


reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Tony, the closest thing I could think of was the "commissar vanishes" story under Stalin, search for that:

https://www.google.cz/search?q=commissar+vanishes&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1317&bih=708

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Commissar_Vanishes



Just like Daddy Stalin, these people clearly do think that their falsification of the history and achievements is the "right truth" and the previous truth is "overwritten".


reader Luboš Motl said...

If they have zero tolerance for sexual harassment, they should remove themselves because they have clearly screwed it *and* fucked it up.


reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear William, one can see the oscillations of the muscles in many videos, too. My paternal grandma had Parkinson's - I would bet it's the same condition.


reader Luboš Motl said...

LOL, I think that the invention of a catchword wasn't the greatest sin.


reader Tony said...

Yep, authoritarianism is very resilient in its many forms. A shapeshifter par excellence.


reader Ariful Hossain Tuhin said...

Deleting his lectures are rather naive. His lectures had nothing to with he being personally offensive to anybody. Are we going to discard "Newton" because his ethical standards were not very convenient?

This is very disproportionate and stupid.

Nazis were involved in cancer research and their research results were not thrown out. You can punish the individual certainly for his misconduct. You can and should punish nazi scientists. But you can delete credible science done during nazi era.

Sometimes political correctness does more harm than good. The vilification of Matt taylor(That rosetta scientist) was another shameful chapter.


reader kashyap vasavada said...

Off- Topic:

Hi Lubos: Would you care to express your opinion on the following statement which I found on Duality web site? Obviously, I trust your opinion more. It is quite possible that you may have discussed this and I missed it. Thanks.
"With the passing of Alexander Grothendieck, there is much
discussion comparing him to Einstein in the mathematics world. I think it would be more fitting to compare
him to Riemann, whose differential geometry made General Relativity possible. Of course, this is meant in a
future tense as it is extremely likely Grothendieck's Motives will play a central role in the nonperturbative completion of M-theory."


reader BMWA1 said...

I don't want to burst anyone's bubble here, but sometimes even the fairer sex lies about things, there was a recent case of similar accusations being made by a former Oxford student against a UKIP member (in UK) which were questioned after it turned out the Oxford student never actually attended that university, here Oxford acted with a greater sense of fairness than the US institution, as reported by DT:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ukip/11285916/Natasha-Bolter-Oxford-University-deny-sex-scandal-Ukip-candidate-ever-attended.html


reader alia said...

plz use this hashtag on twitter against removing his lectures. #RestoreWalterslectures


reader kashyap vasavada said...

Sorry! I meant uduality.blogspot.com!


reader Lev said...

Online communication can be done with voice/video as well...
I agree that the removal of videos is not the correct way, yet speaking about something without having the slightest idea what might have happened and speculating about it is not correct either.


reader Jason said...

MIT has been very open with the consequences and the punishments for Mr. Lewin's alleged actions. They should be equally open about details of his "crime". We simply have no idea what happened. A response as strong a MIT's suggests something terrible. Did he sexually assault someone? Not possible over an internet connection. Did he attempt to lure a minor? The complaint was filed by a student, so almost certainly not a minor. What offense merits such a harsh response? It's hard to imagine one, it's certainly possible MIT is punishing Dr. Lewin appropriately but it sure does seem far more likely that this is excessive, that it doesn't fit the crime. When the stakes are this high, openness is mandatory. If MIT can't treat its professors fairly when accused then top talent should start looking elsewhere. We simply cannot know if justice is served with all this secrecy.


reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks - but what does this exchange have to do with the charges? Sorry, I have probably not read your comment carefully or not understood it entirely and the answer is hiding somewhere but I simply don't see it at all. Could you please simplify this Twitter story for me?


reader br said...

Yikes! Just found out that the abbreviation MIT has another meaning: 'Male Idiot Theory', supported by a paper in the British Medical Journal http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g7094 "This finding is entirely consistent with male idiot theory (MIT) and supports the hypothesis that men are idiots..." One can hope the phrasing is just a bit of a joke ('men take higher risks than women' would be another way to put it), but the BMJ are hardly known for their sense of humour, and it's getting a lot of web hits...


reader QsaTheory said...

I just meant that this case is a domestic violence and has nothing to do with racism that would merit "protest". Of course, many people suspected(protested) that expensive lawyers can help you get away with murder, but that is a different issue.


reader kashyap vasavada said...

I agree with you.I have been an emeritus professor here (admittedly much smaller university than MIT) for 11 years. I am not required to do any work for the department. But they give me free parking and several free lunches during the year!!! In any case, if they want to remove his emeritus status they will have to file a charge sheet which can be fought in the court!


reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks, Kashyap, your comment about emeritus professors and university parking didn't allow me not to think about several episodes of the Big Bang Theory. ;-)


reader kashyap vasavada said...

Thanks . But I am not sure which episode you are referring to! Also I do not know how to find that episode now. Any idea?


reader Fred said...

The professor in question liked to dress in his birthday suit.


reader Don R. Mueller, PhD said...

Well, then students of all ages should watch my physical science videos:

http://www.youtube.com/user/scienceandhealth1


reader kashyap vasavada said...

Oh my!! Now I am even more curious to watch that episode!


reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Kashyap, I had several episodes in mind. Like the Sheldon+Howard's fight over a parking lot they inherited:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih6YmOJnr0E

And then professor Rothman who would appear nude in his office etc.

http://bigbangtheory.wikia.com/wiki/Professor_Rothman



And maybe others but these were my first two picks.


reader Tony said...

The latest of Russian terror in PC USSA:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/11/us/actor-ex-girlfriend-rabbit-attack/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

He ate the rabbit!


reader Mike said...

'Deleting his lectures are rather naive. His lectures had nothing to [do] with his being . . . offensive to anybody.'



Yes, but then, feminism is all about naivety. Many feminists, for example, similarly want great art by white men not to be taught just because it's by white men; and bad art by minorities to be taught just because it is by minorities. Feminists don't give a damn about quality - just forced equality through terror.


reader QsaTheory said...

http://feminists.scripts.mit.edu/website/


reader K. OBrien said...

While saying that this must '...be publicly explained.' MIT has yet to do any explaining. As an alum I and many MIT on campus students want an explanation. Professor Lewin is 78 years old. Their is also the issue of why they are tearing down all his videos and who that punishes. The harassment claim was made in October 2014 at least a year after his last online teaching work. So far no criminal charges have been brought.


reader Rehbock said...

Nothing alleged could be a crime. It is not a crime if a professor wishes to solicit a student unless the student is under age to consent. The students were all adults.
It may be a violation of any school code of conduct. However, he is not a faculty member beyond the course and the student is not receiving credit for the course. I think the professor should sue the school for defamation.


reader Eneya Vorodecky said...

No. Hrassment is harassment and the fact that the U.S. has this noxious idea that nobody can REALLY be harassed by someone who is in any way famous in any field kind of explains the whole issue with putting forward anything on the topic. Rarely people harass do it only once but when in position of authority, this needs to be treated with all seriousness... not having people who come forward fear for their education and further work/employment/career in the fields. If you want to discuss this topic seriously, first address the giant elephant in the room that if someone IS a professor or someone of authority... he/she/they need to be NOT abusing this right and if they do... they should lose everything, yes, what they did to further the field stays... but they failed the very concept of their position as an educator. And I am sick and tired of apologism and victim blaming. The logic of you personally never experiencing harassment by someone ergo no harassment could have been perpetuated by that person, is the same logic of someone murdering a person and you being convinced that can't be true since you have never been murdered/know personally someone murdered before by that same person.


reader Eneya Vorodecky said...

Dear, read your feminism again. Most feminists are asking for OTHER than ONLY white men to be represented in the (higher) education. I know... straw man arguments are easier... but you are being intentionally misleading.


reader Mike said...

Darling, read what *I* wrote again. I wrote 'many,' not 'most.' Many feminists do indeed want what I said they do. But do 'most'? I have no idea - I don't have the quantitative data to make that assertion. So the straw-man fallacy is, humorously, actually yours - for you are trying to defeat an argument I never even made. :)


reader Rehbock said...

Legally Lewin's was no more in a position of authority than I am. If you don't like being solicited for sex you can just touch the screen or push the button so to take you to a different site or you can just - to borrow from another vacuous campaign - just say no.
Legally he did not come close to committing the crime of harassment in Massachusetts which requires an ongoing course of willful and malicous conduct that is reasonably able to and does inflict serious emotional harm on the victim. Even that is subject to the caveat that offensive speech is constitutionally protected. It is not enough that some women prefer that they not being solicited by dirty old men.
The legal test of defamation has been met in MIT statements as published. They have made an intentionally false statement about the professor and have harmed him. A statement can be false by express or implied meaning. They said he had sexually harass a female. That is false.


reader John Archer said...

You first need to explain what representation has to do with it. I say it has nothing, and obviously so. l need to see an argument to the contrary to consider otherwise.

Can you make one out?


reader Rehbock said...

I still find nothing the Prof said that was more offensive being reported than the entirely accurate remark to a female "the queefing is yours".
I was educated in the art of queefing by a young woman many years ago. As a thought experiment let us consider how a man might handle " the queefing is mine" if it posted by you to an adult male attention
As you describe harrassment you would be banned and persecuted if not prosecuted. As I describe harrassment it is not. If you were his age and condition I would be disgusted but your avatar and attitude suggests that I would not be. Now you are entitled to be offended but still it is not harrassment.
I do think women are under represented in many fields and over represented in others. Obviously though women who can't stand men is less likely to thrive around them. We guys can't queef. Having raised some kids I can say that only the boys were anal fart experimentalists.


reader John Archer said...

Rehbock,

Firstly I agree with you, but unfortunately you've taken her bait indirectly and given the quacky quimquotarette a free pass.

You say: "I do think women are under represented in many fields and over represented in others."

Well never mind the thought itself, but it's precisely this weasel use of the word represent that we need to nail her head to the floor on, and others like her.

Let me vent my spleen. No, on second thoughts I'll hold off on that.

OK. Think about that word and what's trying to be slipped in here.

Sure, it's common enough and is very often used loosely in this manner about all sorts of things (and in particular, those completely unconnected with sexual, or any other, politics), but it's a lazy way of talking at best. It's a kind of stand-in word when people can't think of a better one. In most cases it does no harm since the meaning intended is fairly clear.

But in this case it is harmful. It suggests (and unwitting acceptance of it unwittingly condones) the idea that those sporting quims need—and should have—some kind of representation here. But WTF does who represents these qwimmin have to do with the teaching of physics, or any other subject? What equations or experimental set-ups does it affect? In short, WTF exactly is being claimed to be in need of representation here? Nothing relevant to physics, or the teaching of it, I say.

And of course if it did affect these then that would amount to sexually interfering with the subject matter. I think such 'fingering' of undergraduate and graduate physics education should be stamped out. This subject-fiddling is an act of gross indecency. Worse, it's sexual harassment of abstract concepts that can in no way defend themselves and it should not be tolerated. In short, it's unhelpful, inappropriate and fucking unacceptable. AAARRRGGGHHHHHHH!

There go all those other bastard weasel words again!


reader Rehbock said...

You are right. A lifetime of being a lawyer and husband caused me to indulgent to her.


reader Commenter said...

Hi,


I wanted to share my story. I am a recent graduate engineer with a career in computer vision.


A few years, I had to take Physics E&M as apart of my requirements. I didn't go to a school with the renown of MIT, and I failed the class miserably. I got a 32/100 of my first midterm and 15/100 on my second midterm. I dropped the class. The teaching style just didn't click for some reason.


I had to retake the class next semester. Instead of going to lectures at my sub-par school that time around, I watched Prof. Lewin's videos online. Every minute of his videos was enthralling and engaging. Lewin said he completely rehearsed his lectures twice in an empty classroom before students arrived -- something I know the professors at my college didn't do.


Lewin's explanations and conventions made the topic easy to understand. Needless to say, I aced the E&M class without attending a single lecture at my school!


In his videos, it is apparent he has a sense of humor that the thought police might not like. Whatever he said, taking his excellent teaching offline is a disservice to everyone.


reader Shannon said...

When I was in my early twenties and working in an international company in Paris, an oldish guy about mid 40ies, would insist on inviting me to dinner etc and the third time he tried I told him: "no, sorry I don't have a diploma in geriatrics". :-D. He never bothered me again.


reader John McVirgo said...

That's very childish and rude.


Why didn't you just say that you don't want to give the impression of being in a romantic relationship with him, and could he invite someone else along as well?


reader John McVirgo said...

It depends upon the social setting if harassment is harassment.


Being sexually harassed on a dating site is more acceptable than on a tutoring site, and I'm under the impression that Walter Lewin made those comments using his private, personal Twitter account.


Of course, I could be wrong and maybe his account was connected with the tutoring site; in which case his comments did amount to sexual harassment and his dismissal was justified. Even so, I think a short term suspension and an apology from Prof Lewin would have been sufficient.


reader John McVirgo said...

Are you male or female?


It's irrelevant whether or not you or I see it as offensive. What matters is that some were offended, and whether or not they were justified under the social setting.


Can you get your head around the idea that a priest discussing "queefing" in a church is going to offend more people than a sex instructor in a class on better sex?


reader Rehbock said...

I did not say did not find it offensive. I said I saw nothing in the material that was available as "more" offensive.
It is relevant that it is not more persistent or more offensive because we are entitled to be offensive unless the offensive conduct is objectively threatening or so disturbing and persistent that a reasonable person would ppercie e immediate threat to a protected interest in their person or property. To harass someone one must meet some objective tests under law.. i am sure the priest might offend some people and he might be defrocked. But if he is a retired priest and he is reported to have sexually harassed and is stated to he world to be stripped of his title, then having said just "the queefing is yours" to a women on the internet that would be defamation. Of course you could have picked a better example than priests. Seems quite a few of them were "sex instructors" to young people.
What is irrelevant is that yes I am a male. I d


reader Dilaton said...

And I am sick and tired of people like you doing more and more harm and destroying valuable things and great people for the sake of exactly noting or more accurately "political correctless" these days !

It is a great flaw of our times that anybody can anonymously sling unfounded accusations around, by MIT provide links for example just for the heck of it, be taken serious without the accused person ever got a fair official treatise in court, resulting in huge devastating effects fro the wrongly accused person and in this case even for physics education of the whole world.
This strongly reminds me of the witch hunts in the dark middle ages, where anybody could accuse a woman of being a witch and having a deal with Satan at will, and the poor women would then be killed because of such idiots talking nonsense ...

I suspect you give a damn about physics, and this is why you dont mind immensely valuable online learning recources for millions of people getting destroyed for such ridiculous non-issues and nonsense talk about "online sexual harrassement". You can not online sexually harrass another person by definition of the term online!

If I come to furtune somehow, I will gladly offer people like you a one-way ticket to the moon ...!!!

Really, people like you make me sick and feeling like vomiting, as they are testimonies of the fact that things have (probably irreversibly) gone way too far in our "western" world (about other cultures I dont know enough).


reader Dilaton said...

If I were Prof. Lewis, I would look for a good lawier and take the MIT to court ... !


reader Dilaton said...

Exactly, by the take down of immensely valuable physics lectures, I feel sexually harrassed by the person who slinged those accusations around and and by the MIT and I want them to be punished for it !


reader Shannon said...

That was very childish, rude and insensitive indeed, wasn't it? :-) I'm still proud of it today. Thanks John.


reader John Archer said...

"What matters is that some were offended, and whether or not they were justified under the social setting."

That remark—especially the first clause—betrays a particular mindset that is at once stunningly self-righteous and yet cretinously and wilfully blind at the same time. It captures just about everything I despise about this now fashionable leftard offence-taking tactic which is aimed at advancing the vilest of anti-civilisational social engineering programmes. (The same sentiment goes for the snivelling little shits involved, and their lobotomised fuckwit supporters.) It is stupefyingly dumb.

Now, can you work out why?

Furthermore, if you still disagree then please state your position on the necessary conditions for this justifiable offence-taking, paying particular attention to the definition of what is to be regarded as suitably offensive for this purpose and what the penalties should be.

I'm particularly interested to see if you cover what I find offensive. I bet you fucking don't.