Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Nerd News: Protesting Professor Mankiw's Economics 10 Class

OWS sympathizers disrupt a Harvard economics class.  In the words of the econ prof himself, "Here's what happened: About 5 to 10 percent of the class participated in the walk-out. At the same time, some previous ec 10 students came in to sit in the lecture as counter-protesters. The lecture then proceeded as planned."  I say good on the class alums who returned as counter-protesters.  

Professor Mankiw links to coverage by the Harvard paper.  I like this bit from an op-ed in the Crimson:
The Occupy movement has become known for its many, and often contradictory, faces. Now we can add a new group of faces to that list—Ec 10 students.  Students in the popular introductory economics class walked out fifteen minutes into the class yesterday in a gesture of solidarity with the Occupy movement and to protest what the event organizers consider a class that promotes a “strongly conservative neoliberal ideology.”  We find it troubling that students would protest a class because of its supposed ideological bent at an institution dedicated to academic integrity.  Such an action sets a dangerous precedent of ideological discrimination against professors. 
... Furthermore, the students’ attempt to connect their classroom protestations to the Occupy movement illustrates the disjointed and often unfocused nature of the movement.  Indeed, it seems ironic that students in an introductory economics course at Harvard feel that by walking out of their completely optional lecture taught by a famous economist on the theme of income inequality feel that their actions ought to be considered a sign of solidarity with the Occupy movement.  Such protests don’t show solidarity, they show ignorance and a lack of self-awareness. 
You don't say!  (Also, Crimson editors, please fix that comma splice.)

UPDATE:  "... one major criticism of the Occupy movement is that protesters do not generally seem to be well-informed on the economic issues they care so strongly about. Walking out of an economics lecture will do little to quell this stereotype."  HEH!  Note that all this happened at Hahvahd.  Smart people can be idiots too -- a very special kind of idiot.

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