Monday, February 21, 2005
- The story of Hans Hoppe, the professor at UNLV who was reprimanded for using an example of homosexuality to argue for differences in economic agents' time preferences, had his reprimand removed from his file.
He's still pressing for an apology and a sabbatical, and I hope he gets his letter. The sabbatical claim is a common request of faculty who think they've been wronged; I've never really liked the practice, but chances are there's precedent at UNLV and if so, he's entitled to ask. Interested readers should follow the case on the Mises and Liberty&Power blogs.
"Professor Hoppe does not assert that materials he presents are the opinions of UNLV, nor has he ever purported to speak for UNLV. Whether anyone in the university agrees or disagrees with Professor Hoppe's theories or his opinions is not ultimately relevant," [university president Carol C.] Harter wrote in a statement sent to students and media. "Teaching is of its nature and origin provocative."
"I believe professors are entitled the freedom to teach theories and to espouse opinions that are out of the mainstream or are controversial," Harter said in a statement released on Friday.
- Meanwhile, another attempt to shut down a critical student-run blog is ongoing at St. Lawrence University. The university has blocked campus computers from loading the blog and is suing the bloggers for copyright infringement. The blog's name -- Take Back Our Campus -- doesn't even have the name of the school in it, while FIRE has already won a victory for a similar student blog that had the name of UC-Santa Barbara. Hard to see how they can win there; I hope the students at SLU get FIRE to take up their cause. Quid nomen illius and Academy Girl are covering this story. Notes Jeff,
The slight twist is that this time it's self-described liberal students fighting what they say is a conservative administration, but the political orientation of the participants hardly matters. What stuns me is how thin-skinned and hysterical the SLU administration is being. Do they not realize that these cranky students are well on their way to becoming folk heroes while the president of SLU already looks like an insecure, tyrannical jackass?One can only hope.
- Last, I hope Hugh Hewitt reads this article in the latest Economist on Robert Scoble. Scoble is a blogger who writes about software and has been hired to do so by Microsoft.
But Mr Scoble is at his best when he opines ruthlessly on Microsoft's technology. When Google or Apple or anybody else makes a better product, he blogs it. �I've been pretty harsh on Microsoft over the years,� he says. This gives him credibility, and thus power. If somebody somewhere takes a swipe at Microsoft that is unfair, Mr Scoble can cry foul and actually have his readers concede the point.
Inspired in part by Mr Scoble's success, executives at other companies�so far, mostly in tech�are starting their own blogs. Most daringly, Jonathan Schwartz, number two at Sun Microsystems, a large computer-maker, has blogged his thoughts about possible mergers in his industry, and thrown punches at Hewlett-Packard, IBM and other rivals. Bruce Lowry, PR boss at Novell, another software firm, also wants to get his executives blogging. Boring old press releases�where everybody is constantly resigning �to spend more time with the family� and what not�are totally ill-suited for responding to most PR issues, such as rumours or independent commentary, he says. He can imagine blogs completely replacing press releases within ten years.
I wonder if the university would like to give me time from teaching to blog? Anyway, the unnamed author of this article is singing Blog's song. Chad the Elder noted this last week.