Apr

11

CC: Uday Mehta Coursewide Lecture

Written by

khkWe LiveBwogging this shit* 

6:00 PM – it has not yet started.

6:07 PM – this is still the case. I will say when it is not.

6:10 PM – First words: “is this working? yeah.”  One history professor is taking over for another in introducing the event.  He says it was an easy decision.

6:13 PM – He is talking about how to tell the story of the West. Could this perhaps be a lecture about Contemporary Civilization? From what I’ve heard, that’s not the deal with these coursewide lectures.

6:20 PM – Lecture is shaping up pretty well, in every sense except attendance. The right side (“North wing”) is mostly empty, and the left and center are about 2/3 full.

6:25 PM – Professor Michael Stanislawski (who introduced Mehta) has perhaps the most serious face of anyone I’ve ever seen. A few minutes ago, he had his left hand on his chin and periodically touched his nose. Now he had forgone the support of his hands entirely, but his face remains the same.

6:41 PM – Mehta makes a strong point: violence and killing are not proscribed in their own right by these systems of thought which sanction the formation of government: they merely represent disorder and inconvenience when used wantonly. (he spent the last 15 minutes illustrating this in the British empire. Meanwhile Stanislawski has maintained his face and position) Summarized view of West: straight terrorism bad, state terrorism OK.

6:49 PM – First question is not by a student.  “What about Condorcet?”

Stanislawski watch – after standing up briefly to ask questions, he has resumed his remarkable seriousness and focus, albeit now from a standing position.  Props to Mehta for not being freaked out by him. 

6:56 PM –  Question (paraphrased) – “would a single world government perhaps solve our problems?” Answer: no.

7:00 – It is now 7pm (it’s a lucky number, and a Mersenne prime apparently)

7:05 – The dude is “perfectly happy to be a liberal” (despite his speech about its violence). It’s a “pretty damn good thing to be”

7:09 – Now it is done (I don’t really “get” liveblogging). Dude answered some pretty douchey questions after a tight speech; he called out a girl on a really long prepared question that wasn’t too relevant.

*shit as in the generic term for anything, not to say that it is a shit lecture 

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23 Comments

  1. hollywood

    woah. that icon is just too sweet.

  2. CTC

    that "girl" with the really long prepared question was actually a CC teacher herself. which makes it better that he put her in her place.

    • also  

      what's wrong with professors asking questions? there were hardly any students who wanted to (only 5 people even stood up to speak, and the moderator only let 4 of them talk).

      • CTC

        I didn't say there was anything wrong with professors asking questions, but I was just adding some background to the post to explain the contrived, self-serving (her forte is women and family dynamics in Africa), over prepared question was the product of a professor. It's sort of an interesting distinction when the girl called out by a lecturer is a professor and not a student.

        And to #4, he did sort of call her out, and then proceeded to not give anything close to an answer to the original question.

  3. Umm  

    This was a terrible summary of the lecture. You guys do a better job when you have someone go home and think about the main points and give serious reflection on them.

    • DHI  

      From my understanding a liveblogging thing is a supposed to be some asshole talking about what is going on, rather than a serious review of a lecture. I agree that the lecture-hop format is superior, and I probably misunderstood the liveblogging concept anyway and nobody was online at the time to bail me out. So your criticism is valid.

      • DHI  

        To clarify, the lecture hop format is superior for real lectures like this one. I still think the liveblogging works well for stuff that is a lot of bullshit, like the Minuteman event of the Havel lecture.

    • DHI  

      But you're still an asshole for starting the comment with "ummm." Why are arrogant people so inarticulate?

  4. ummm  

    are you retarded? the question was very relevant and he recognized it as such; he didnt "call her out"
    what are you smoking, bwog

  5. dhi  

    wtf? i hope this speech really really sucked. because you sure made it sound like it did. this is perhaps the worst ever. at least the gossip posts admit to being trashy. this just sounds like you were stoned or drunk and had no idea what was going on.

    you could have at least included some interesting gonzo journalism to make up for the complete lack of substance.

    • hst

      yeah DHI, where's your gonzo journalism at?!? without it, i feel like i'm suffocating in regular commentary. wtf am i to do?

    • DHI  

      Look, I know it's bad form to respond to comments because it is petty and unprofessional, but in this case I'm responding because I too feel that this was a terrible post. I wasn't stoned or drunk, but I didn't know what I was doing and couldn't decide on the character of the post. Understand there's very little you can do about a terrible live post if it turns out that way. Also understand that if you bitch out any of the editors and it's not a rare case like this one in which it's warranted, nobody's going to listen and you'll just be a douche.

    • wtf  

      i hope this post really sucked, because you made it sound like it did. you sound like you're having really bad pms or something and hate everything; you could have at least included some really angry poetry to make up for the lack of civility.

  6. WAIT!

    what about felipe tarud?

  7. was mehta prepared?  

    1) he spent like 7 minutes explaining that war=impatience, and violence=war, and thus.......peace=patience! haha!

    2) he had a hard time finding the words to answer basic questions, and always ended a full minute interruption of thought with "actually, my point was..."

    3) he said that he told amherst that an international subpoena of the taliban would have brought them to the hague in a year and everyone laughed at him.

    well he deserved a laugh this time...

  8. well  

    The lecture was less than electric. It was like hearing someone read Hume, and it's hard to liveblog Hume.

  9. WAIT!!!!!!!  

    WHaT aBoUT FelipE TArUD?!?!

  10. aright discoe

    lay off Michael Stanislawski, who's probably the best professor I've had in 4 years at Columbia in terms of his dedication to his students. Stanislawski's office hours were the only ones I've been to where I didn't feel like I'd shown up at the free medical clinic (what's your question? will that be all?)

    just wanted to put it out there that Mike's a gem of a man, and you should be so lucky as to have him as a seminar leader.

    Oh and I think he might be the incoming Chair of CC succeeding Kitcher?

    • I don't understand

      some people's undying love of M.S. He was truly, truly terrible during Senior Seminar for the human rights concentration--I loved most of my classes at columbia (I know, right?) but M.S. made me want to tear my hair out. for further evidence of the MS love/hate divide, check out cupla. so strange. does the man have an alternate superhero reveal only during certain seminars?

  11. guess what?  

    it really did!

    guess what?

    i'm bleeding like you wouldn't believe right now.

    civility? fuck you!

  12. moph  

    DHI--I'm intrigued. Since you're around, and since you agree that the liveblog format doesn't really work for this lecture, are there other things you noticed that you couldn't work into the post?

  13. good to know  

    glad I didn't go.

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