UC Berkley instructor/postgrad argues for shaming rural Americans

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Helpful2013, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. Helpful2013

    Helpful2013 Active Member

    Campus Reform has a piece on a UC Berkeley postgraduate student and instructor railing against rural Americans. https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=13975.

    “I unironically embrace the bashing of rural Americans. They, as a group, are bad people who have made bad life decisions ... we should shame people who aren’t pro-city”​

    Ironically, his accompanying profile photo shows him standing in a decidedly non-urban area.
  2. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I can't tell if he's joking or not (Poe's Law in action), but shouldn't be taken seriously either way.

    It's even a little refreshing to see a college professor be critical of "life decisions" as opposed to ranting nonstop about race and gender.

    That said, rural people have my support 100%. I thank you all dearly for my beef, cheese and endless selection of corn-based products.
    Phdtobe likes this.
  3. GregWatts

    GregWatts Member

    I suspect he is not suggesting that we shame people for being rural but rather for certain positions / beliefs which are, in some cases, highly correlated with being rural.
  4. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Which seems to imply that he believes that rural people are anti-city, an implicit premise that needs more justification. Kind of ironic coming from a philosophy doctoral student at Berkeley. But Berkeley's standards aren't nearly what they once were.

    He hates "boomers" too and returns to insulting them repeatedly in his twitter posts.

    Just from a philosophical perspective though, why should people favor cities?

    Rural areas are typically friendlier and more social than cities. (He would know this if he actually traveled through the middle of America instead of flying over it.) In a small town you typically know everybody and they know you. In a big city you often don't even speak to your next door neighbor. Despite being surrounded by people all the time, life in a big city is often far more isolating. (Big cities aren't ideal for lonely people.) Rural areas are typically safer than cities and most categories of crime are far less. Rural areas aren't overrun by homeless encampments and individuals with obvious untreated psychiatric problems, who tend to congregate in inner cities. Scenery and environment are typically much better. Better place to raise kids. On and on.

    On the other hand, cultural life in big cities is often better, with museums, galleries and performance groups. But the internet is cutting into that advantage. Rural people need only go online to find similar things. There are no end of online interest groups to join. Degreeinfo knows very well that people in rural areas have a whole assortment of distance learning opportunities that rival what people have available locally in most cities. Everything from individual non-credit classes to degrees up to the doctoral level in some subjects. There are plenty of rural colleges and universities too. (Laramie WY, Bozeman MT, Moscow ID, Rapid City SD on and on.)

    So really, the biggest advantage that cities have seems to me to be bars and nightclubs. That might be very vital and important to a millenial like this guy, but not so much for the rest of us.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
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  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    I'm in a large choir that had a performance yesterday at the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. It's a venue that seats 1250 people and it was packed. There's no way I'd have had that opportunity in a less populated area, and no, the Internet just isn't the same experience either for singers or concert goers.

    That said, I've also lived in a Caribbean village that would make the average American small town look like a metropolis by comparison, and that had its advantages too, many of which track with your description.

    You pay your money, you take your choice. There's no need for urban, suburban, or rural residents to criticize the choices of the others. It's just another one of those fake rivalries that seem to pop up like mushrooms in the social media era: https://stevefoerster.com/focus-on-what-you-see/
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  7. Helpful2013

    Helpful2013 Active Member

    Bingo. I've lived in a rural village of 300 (touted as 'well over 300' at holidays when families visited), and it was great, even when the piles of manure fertiliser were deposited upwind. I've also lived in the city centre of a metropolis that was great for different reasons. We just had to teach our kids not to look down at the sidewalks near the pubs when strolling on a Saturday or Sunday morning - just walk where mum and dad walk, thank you.

    Much of this stems from learning to be content where one finds oneself, an attitude which seems to have eluded the Berkeley student above. I can't imagine the amount of work that goes into being discontented with where others find themselves.
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  8. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    What happened to all the tress and animal from the big cities? They were cleared-cut and replaced by concrete; animals were killed and also lost their habitat. My uneducated guess is that concrete is better for climate change. That may the main reason why celebrities in their huge mansions in the cities are very big into global warning. They want people in the rural area and in poor countries like Brazil, and countries in Africa to save the tress, and the animals for them so they an fly in their private jets to remember what trees and animals look like because they are none in the big cities where there were once plentiful.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.

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