Sunday, May 18, 2014

TWoDrJ to abide by the new guidelines

This morning, in a story that made the front page of the print edition of the New York Times (but which is buried in the website), educators (who have long been warned against saying anything that might offend anyone) have been put on notice that they should provide “trigger warnings” to protect their students (as delicate as geraniums, and as lilac-grey) from anything they might prefer not to be exposed to, from such notorious authors as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Virginia Woolf, and Mark Twain.  Potentially offending (or, as the victims lobby now dubs it, “triggering”) material  include  not merely foul language, or what is euphemistically (and almost catachrestically) called ‘mature content’, but even such more exotic lurking perils such as … “cissexism” and “ableism”.

Colleges across the country this spring have been wrestling with student requests for what are known as “trigger warnings,” explicit alerts that the material they are about to read or see in a classroom might upset them or, as some students assert, cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in victims of rape or in war veterans.
The warnings, which have their ideological roots in feminist thought, have gained the most traction at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where the student government formally called for them.

Now, this blog long ago left off commenting upon anything the least bit venturesome, for reasons we outlined here, restricting ourselves to such comparatively non-controversial fare  as the higher calculus, and the relative cuteness of hamsters.  [Disclaimer:  Bunnies, turtles, and all small species in cups, are all equally cute, each in its own special way.]   So we had fancied ourselves safe. 
Yet now we are in receipt of a rather sharply worded letter from Ms. Autarchia Blevis-Winterdottir, Dean of Disabilities at the University of California at Disneyland, reminding us that number-theory, too, can be wounding to the unprepared, and quoting back at me my own decisive post on the subject,

Thus unhorsed with my own javelin, I can only bow to the inevitable;  and shall endeavor, henceforward, whenever mention must be made of that venerable conjecture, to prepend a

=>   Trigger Warning   <=
The following material may contain references
to the Riemann Hypothesis

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