Brent Laabs is the former Legislative Chair for the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students, and a long-time editor of this here Davis Wiki.
He has lots of other titles:
Brent, shown meditating at Ryōan-ji in Kyoto.
Meteorologist (by virtue of his B.S. degree in Atmospheric Science)
MiniLuv for Students for an Orwellian Society
Former External Chair of the Graduate Student Association, 2007-2008
Disgraced ex-Board of Directors Chair, University of California Student Association (UCSA)
Disgraced ex-Board of Directors Chair, Wiki Spot
DRAGON President, 2006-2007
ASUCD Senate Harassment Corps
Controller Intern for Paul Harms
ASUCD Historian (2008-09, first of the modern era)
Former Graduate Peer Adviser for LAWR
Victorious ASUCD Court Plaintiff (also defeated plaintiff)
Internal Affairs Commission Groupie (and former Ex-Officio Member!)
The 94th registered user on the Davis Wiki
Awarded for excellence in trolling and sockpuppetry. Brent resigned after a vote of no confidence passed in UCSA, making him once again (albeit temporarily) a private citizen. Brent apparently spent too much time representing the students of the UC System and not enough time representing UCSA. He then went on to represent all grad students in the U.S. as the Legislative Chair for NAGPS, even though he was no longer a student. Lobbying 10 congressional offices a day can get tiring, though.
Brent used to be a student in the Atmospheric Science grad program but had to leave because he was educated stupid. He used to be a TA for Atmospheric Science for ATM 10, 110, and 111, and also for Sociology 3.
He is also a vendor of some of the Magic Items of Davis. He will only buy magic items at half of book price, however. He's got a lot of roleplaying experience. He sort of founded Psi Phi, but never really had enough time to get it going. Be smart: Avoid zombie attack!
He taught a Propaganda class for Experimental College during Spring quarter 2005 entitled "Propaganda: How to make it and how to spot it". The Propaganda Class will forever be known as the best class ever taught at UCD! We have many satisfied students, some of which went on the fast-track to ASUCD power.
Brent has spent enough time around ASUCD that he now says things like "Point of order", "I yield", and "Question in text" in normal conversation. He has managed to avoid being sent to that ASUCD Gulag — so far. He was a Campaign Manager for SOSSS, Friends Urging Campus Kindness, and the United Student Alliance, but he is currently a member of FOSL in ASUCD. However, he was a plussecret advisor for the Christian Slate, because all your bill are belong to us. He was probably also a member of LEAD, just not all the time.
Brent is a patriot, and loves Big Brother very much. Brent will do anything to help America defeat the Mideastasian menace!
He wants to be the very best, like no one ever was.
Brent is glad that he is not part of the clusterfuck that is 24/7 Taxi Cab Company.
His AIM is TheLabster
Email: <bslaabs AT gmail DOT TT com>
BrentLaabs.com actually redirects to this page
I'm on The Facebook too. This is an extremely bad way to contact me.
He has a profile page over on TV Tropes, but he's banned so he can't edit it.
If you feel like comparing yourself to him in cheesy internet tests, look him up on his OkCupid profile.
-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.12 GG/S/CS d- s+:++>+ a C++ UB+ P+++ L++ E-- W+++ N+ o? K w- !O M++ V-- PS+++@ PE- Y+(++) PGP- t++ 5++ X++(-) R+>++ tv++ b+>+++ DI+ D+ G+ e++(*) h! r>++ y+* ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
A softer gentler Brent, proof that you can wear Hawaiian shirts wheneverBrent is shown here, using a 'laser pointer' to teach one of his discussion sections. He lives at a location near here, which probably explains his values
Caution: Drama Llama Crossing.
Avoid getting near one or it will drag you into its underground
nest and get you involved in its "OMG SO SRS" issues.
In 2004, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by the ASUCD for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped a maximum security stockade to the Yolo County underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire...the DavisWiki.
(written by JabberWokky)
"provoke you? are you serious? if i wanted to provoke you i'd go outside the wiki, like everyone else i provoke."
(MichelleAccurso to SS)
Old Comments are available at /Archive.
Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.
Note: You must be logged in to add comments
2007-12-03 21:20:48 My sister and I were watching "Beauty and the Geek" at the ARC on Sunday and one of the geeks is a LARPer. He looks like a geeky version of you and you are significantly more adept socially...but Brent, this guy is abnormally similar to you. Tracey and I immediately exchanged looks on our respective treadmills and yelled "It's Brent!" in unison. —JillWeinstein
2007-12-04 04:09:59 Just wanted to (again) clutter your page up with a comment. Thank you. —JabberWokky
2007-12-04 19:00:59 lulz
2007-12-08 15:38:13 lol. Thank you for your concern for my image, but I'll take care of myself. —EricFriedman
2007-12-08 18:06:59 Just read your comment, and no, I am against GO just as I was against Student Focus when they were acting out of line. To be accurate, I am a Davis Wiki sympathizer, since I try my best to follow its norms. —PaulAmnuaypayoat
2007-12-28 16:18:16 Re: Psi Phi: Cool! I think every campus has to have a Psi Phi every few years. Somewhere in a box I have photos of a wood-burnt sign of a Psi Phi Meeting sign from many many years ago hung in front of a campus party. It is rumored that if there is no Psi Phi fraternity on a campus, the ghost of Issac A. himself will start tormenting the student body with cloning and singularity oriented limericks. —JabberWokky
2008-01-24 23:46:00 Spam! —MattBlair
2008-02-02 14:59:12 you're really funny sometimes. —PxlAted
2008-02-15 12:38:55 You might want to look at the ballot measure the SRC was on and see if there was a specific size outlined. If they violated that, then you would have some good cannon fodder. —JamesSchwab
2008-02-25 23:11:10 so it would appear your "okay" with ruling
lame, I expected a much more excited proclamation to your ruling status than "okay"
next time be less square! —StevenDaubert
2008-03-09 11:36:03 Brent, it would be great if you could stop by the Joe Crowley Student Union, room 345 at 4:00pm on Friday. Myself (Gregory Green, ASUN Speaker of the Senate) and a few others would like to meet with you. Thank you for the offer to come by! —ASUN
2008-03-26 02:22:27 you seemed very enthusiastic about your ruling prowess, DESPITE BEING ON THE PHONE!
quite the riddle you are —StevenDaubert
2008-03-26 22:33:37 Nice. I like the change! —IDoNotExist
2008-04-01 01:36:24 YAAA YOU RULE! —StevenDaubert
2008-04-01 03:03:02 Nice catch. I zotted the shock images so the "do you want to revert?" images can't be used for no good. —JabberWokky
2008-04-01 12:43:45 Brent gives great hugs! —BreeButler
2008-05-12 17:09:39 Nice. —JoshFernandez
2008-05-15 21:07:19 fired retroactively by UC Davis Student Affairs? Lolwut
what really happened? —StevenDaubert
2008-06-16 13:44:02 Yeah, I'm on frequently, but frequently lurking... —ScottLay
2008-06-16 14:09:54 chaiiinnnnsssss —StevenDaubert
2008-06-26 15:55:48 you left out the comments in the revert of nish, it needs to go back about 8 or 10 edits. nish keeps adding null edits as if it will make it impossible to recover. —RocksandDirt
Apparently Nish doesn't know how a wiki works after all... —SunjeetBaadkar
2008-07-21 19:02:40 please tell me your acadian story when you get the time
2008-08-01 17:02:42 Brent, my wonderful friend, how have you been? —AndrewPeake
2008-08-12 00:02:46 Nice color theme. —JabberWokky
2008-08-21 14:37:00 Yeah, right. I have NO time to be doing anything of the sort. And plus I'm not sure about the ethical questions that would raise since I'm also on staff at the Aggie. Editing the wiki is one thing, starting a club to promote it is another ballgame. I do hope that someone will care enough about it to do it though — red tape is made for cutting! —JeremyOgul
2008-08-22 20:04:53 Thank you for the inter wiki linkage, and good looking out on the 1000 edits / 20 new entries —StevenDaubert
2008-08-24 22:34:10 Hope I wasn't coming off as malicious there, just trying to make a point. I was for changing the MC page too and Josh's comment amused me. —jefftolentino
2008-08-26 00:12:05 So where in Davis can I bother you come September? —BreeButler
2008-08-26 21:22:51 Sorry Brent, I assume you mean that you will place the term invisibly back in the page? —gager
2008-08-26 22:41:54 smallgate on æ? —StevenDaubert
2008-08-27 18:47:45 So what about my solution of deleting it altogether. Then if people complain, then we could rethink it. Aren't there rules about derrogatory language? —mikewaltz
2008-08-27 18:49:58 And what if Tom doesn't want comments like this directed toward him? —mikewaltz
2008-08-27 21:31:20 You make me sad Brent. —BreeButler
2008-08-31 18:23:02 The wiki won't be the same without you, Brent! —CurlyGirl26
2008-09-03 19:36:32 Hello, Brent. Have any advice for a fellow LAWR-er trying to improve the quality of LAWR propaganda on Davis Wiki, or heck, any advice in general? —HJH
2008-09-03 21:15:09 He's now stealing NorCal water, and fighting to become the new minister of weather control policy, or so I've heard. —DavidPoole
2008-09-06 19:51:29 How much better do you feel? —JasonAller
2008-09-07 11:11:08 Petty joy for reasonable acts is still joy. (I feel I should attribute that to Mencken or Reader's Digest or somebody). —JabberWokky
2008-09-09 06:10:40 Hey, is this person (user entry now deleted, look in info) of sufficient note to have an entry? I only ask because now would be the time. The name appeared in student government type entries, but has been removed. I have no idea if the offices held are noteworthy or not. —JabberWokky
2008-09-29 21:36:16 What's the Frequency, Kenneth? —IDoNotExist
2008-09-30 18:19:45 Thanks for getting my back on that b&b revert! —StevenDaubert
2008-10-11 13:19:08 Do you know why SO was banned this time? —EdWins
2008-11-11 15:28:54 Good Questions. —JasonAller
2008-11-13 07:11:18 Thanks for standing up for our bagels! —StaceyEllis
2008-12-06 17:38:49 ha! awesome, thanks. —ArlenAbraham
2008-12-08 00:01:28 thanks man —ChrisWaterstraat
2008-12-13 19:44:19 Hi Brent! Your help over at the Camarillo Wiki is much appreciated! I'm hoping that once there's a good number of pages then more people will come help out. It's got almost 60 wiki fans on Facebook, but few come to the Camarillo Wiki to edit. —MicheleTobias
2008-12-28 01:49:40 thank you for the fix! i've been slowly trying to get this wiki together and have yet to recruit others to add to it, so knowing that there are people out there who are helping is a great relief. —MyMagentaLute
2009-01-05 10:38:14 Actually, joekunin started la; I just noticed it and added a few things I'd found. I keep meaning to go back and add more; hopefully interest will grow and we can get it going. —ElleWeber
2009-02-03 15:59:14 This was a real long time ago...but do you remember who made that video? I remember watching it, and I wanted to see it again but This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by WMG. according to youtube. —EdWins
2009-02-16 23:59:30 I'm so glad you are still around ASUCD on the wiki, even if you cannot be here in person. —AmyHartstein
2009-02-17 01:00:51 Interesting endorsement-like statements, Zaana's idea would definitely not fix Pathfinder, I believe she's taken a "cut it" stance. —GregWebb
2009-02-17 01:09:16 I find myself in between a rock and a hard place but the deficit is growing so I'm willing to accept any proposal. —GregWebb
2009-02-17 07:48:58 IAC didn't write the External Representation Amendment, I did. =P They made very few changes when it was seen in commission. —EliYani
2009-02-26 13:52:42 LOL they must think I take this stuff seriously. —GregWebb
Well, you did stay up for 36 hours straight campaigning for Chatham and Massoudi. —BrentLaabs
2009-02-26 14:30:22 Who are you so wise in the ways of science? —MattBlair
2009-03-01 06:23:45 Nice use of back-off editing with the Infernal Affairs page. —GregWebb
2009-03-04 18:45:27 That was a pretty large revert, did you mean to go that far? —JasonAller
2009-04-08 01:19:45 Brent, you seem to know what you're doing around here. I created a page for one of the ASUCD Presidents I knew, Peter Nguyen. However, I don't know how to link that to the list of all the ASUCD Presidents so that people can just click on his name and get to the page. Can you help, please? —maxtran
2009-04-15 01:08:02 Hi Brent, in terms of the battle of bands, I really don't want to engage in an edit war. But it is simply untrue to say that the Band-uh cheats their opponents in the battle. I explained on WilliamLewis's page that the wiki page dedicated to the battle is confusing and has several inaccuracies. In its current state, it's probably not the best page to base statements on the featured page off of. I welcome the opportunity to discuss the facts with you, on account of I am somebody who was actually present during the wee hours of the night for some of the battles in question. While I think it is healthy for people to have a discussion, such a discussion obviously doesn't belong in the form of reverts on the featured page. Therefore, since there is not consensus on this issue, I propose leaving the featured page text neutral for the time being and allow any necessary discussion on an appropriate page. —RyanCoates
2009-04-15 02:04:54 The "rule" that the Aggie Band always wins is not really a rule, people sort of just say that because they have never lost. In the case of an agreed tie, each band plays their fight song in order. Tradition is that the Band-uh is always the last band to march into the PD battle, therefore they are the last to play their fight song in the case of a tie. If they played their fight song first, then they would have played one fewer songs than the other bands and it wouldn't be much of a tie. I can see how to an audience this would appear like the Band-uh was winning a tie, so to speak, but that's not really what's happening. In the absence of a tie agreement, the battle becomes winnable. That the Aggie Band always wins is not really a rule, but more of a creed among Aggie bandsmen. Some other band could plausibly come with more music and stamina and outlast the Band-uh. Some have tried this, but have been unable to exhaust the Band-uh's library. Just because nobody has yet been able to outplay the Ags doesn't that they couldn't or won't in the future. —RyanCoates
2009-04-30 18:46:36 I prototyped a little threaded shadow site called Mondo (a type of border grass... get it? The grass around a Sycamore?) a couple years ago, I think it was the January a few months before Wiki Spot launched. I can dust off the code, but it's really simple: threaded, uses the same css as Davis Wiki (I'd have to alter it for Wiki Spot), and the basic formatting markup ('''bold''', etc., plus links). It was very dwiki specific at the time, and ran on PHP/adodb. I never got to linking the user accounts, as I was noodling through ideas and never found one I really liked. —JabberWokky
2009-05-14 06:33:03 Why? —JasonAller
2009-07-05 23:52:20 I hate you, Mr. Claus. —JabberWokky
Look, Brent. I'm too dumb at this wiki stuff to know how to revert pages and all that. I barely know how to make revisions. But public record is public record, and there is nothing wrong with listing the names of those who voted on those days. I do not object to my name being listed at the bottom of the letter I wrote. Anyway, not sure what your intent was with that, but please let me know what would be agreeable to you.
—I figured out the "revert" thing. What do you think of this version? I modified the intro so that it was as neutral as I could make it. -Cameron
2009-09-12 15:28:16 no, bluedot. but as far as what youre refering to, they were always called Xe internally-_\| —xe p.s. back in 99 when i met seals their opion was that it sounded like a good opportunity but that P.-r==i5n44c##e was a pussy. and the delta/rangers thought it was some pussy seal crap.(no running//haha)
2009-09-20 03:17:55 I'm just getting started. I plan to replace this site with my own creation (davissource) when I'm done discrediting/suing you people out of existence. :) —lawdog
Bon chance, lawdog. -BL
2009-09-23 13:41:42 are you arguing with a sign? —StevenDaubert
Yeah Brent, how dare you argue with a Davis sign?
2009-10-01 11:12:02 Different type of page. —JabberWokky
2009-10-18 18:05:23 love the walled garden post —StevenDaubert
2009-11-09 13:35:33 I remember that— I was looking through Chapter 4 on the bus into Sac today. I'm working on another revision, because even with all the hours we put into them before, they still need it. —MaxMikalonis
2009-11-09 14:11:47 I'm a reporter from the Enterprise writing an article about daviswiki being named the "world's best local wiki." Would like to interview users. I'm writing this for tomorrow's paper, so please call me as soon as you can at 747-8052. —jon.edwards
2009-11-10 02:19:11 MORE LINKS! ;-P —JabberWokky
2009-11-24 15:16:26 Hi Brent,
You mind helping me integrate the new page with the old page? My idea is update the Ari Kalfayan page with current information and creating a "Ari Kalfayan ASUCD Senator" or "Ari Kalfayan laptop Usage" Page for all commentary. What do you think? —dlabs
2009-11-25 22:30:38 Hello, did you make the graph for the student fees over time? If so, may I use it on one of my websites? I will of course credit you. Thank you. —hankim
2009-11-25 23:05:13 Awesome, thank you. Could I get the source data too if it is not too much trouble? And Obama not playing Magic makes sense, real nerds read Green Lantern, not Spider-Man. —hankim
2009-12-23 00:47:35 What happened to the page? There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with my post. And of all places, why was it moved to my profile? I'm also trying to figure out how to reply with indented bullets. You probably made a misunderstood what it was I was trying to post to. —ThanhVu
2010-01-25 20:38:10 Rocking the shutter! —JabberWokky
2010-01-25 21:02:13 I have a few directories like that. I did note that there's a poster in a photo notifying people about the 2005 W-2. —JabberWokky
2010-01-26 14:55:32 Okay... that was odd. I edited, you commented, and your comment went away. I haven't seen anything like that in years (other than the "two people create a new entry at once" bug). Probably an odd quirk in the collision reconciliation code. —JabberWokky
2010-01-29 16:55:16 Date your older photos! —PhilipNeustrom
2010-01-29 21:36:13 Thanks for the help earlier, Mr. Laabs! —RyanMeyerhoff
2010-02-09 17:59:47 So alone... —JabberWokky
That still doesn't make it a person's real name. -BL
2010-02-16 22:13:49 Hahaha I completely lost it when I checked out what you reverted. Pure comedy gold! —TomGarberson
2010-02-16 22:24:04 Gosh, that was weird. —DonShor
2010-02-17 00:57:00 Do ASUCD members really have any power over campus printing, readers, wireless internet in the dorms, infrastructure maintenance, or anything else promised? Every election I hear a few of the same issues repeated and it seems like the people who got elected never kept their end of the bargain. To me, it looks like they have no more power over these issues than the average student and the only way to get these issues looked at would be to apply as a student adviser to the Chancellor or something and these promises are used to feed on ignorant voters (loaded question is loaded). —hankim
Well, yes and no. I can give you some sort of answer about student representation on CCFIT for and other Administrative Advisory Committees, and that would be factual but not really relevetory. So far as I can tell, your philosophy of student government is that it should be restrained to things in which the association has a direct fiscal influence (or maybe some external advocacy too, not sure there). Those are the places where the association has hard power. But there are also areas in which they have soft (diplomatic) power, and the provision of student services by the campus administration is one of those places.
Students are ultimately the consumers of the University, so there are a variety of ways student leaders can wield soft power. They can attempt to embarass the administration, either by extensive protests or scathing editorials (see UCSA). They can try to tattle to the Regents. They can shmooze their way to getting inside attention (see Brian McInnis). Or, more than likely, they will just sufficiently annoy the administration that they'll do something about it (see Rob Roy, or even Keith Shively). The point is, soft power is real, and providing staplers in computer labs is not something that would have happened without student leadership.
That said, soft power is unreliable, even from the best wielders of it. So I think you should look carefully at the person making a lot of promises that they need others to deliver on. If it's someone without the social graces to shmooze, the persistence to annoy, and the eloquence to indict, then their promises will likely remain pie-in-the-sky. Contrarily, if the candidate promises only things that they know they can deliver, it's really kind of boring. It shows a lack of vision for what student life should be. It's possible, even in this poor economic climate, to get computer lab printing back up to 200 pages/quarter — but it would take the kind of tenacity I rarely see in a student government officer. —BrentLaabs
It would be really easy to get computer lab printing up to 200 pages/quarter. ASUCD could budget a chunk of money to hand to CLM. —wl
And yet I'd just assume that the people increasing fees at double the rate of inflation pay for it, not the student government who hasn't raised fees since 1979. -BL
So there is not much error in my assuming that the average student can have as much power as someone who is a part of the ASUCD as long as they are a sufficiently large enough thorn in the side of the UC higher-ups? —hankim
Being a student government representative gives you a social context for representing the opinion of students — no more, no less. Without the AS, you'd want some kind of other social context, be it a student AAC position or just a club officership. One caveat here is that campus officials tend to give more weight to officials higher up in the student government hierarchy, and city officials give slightly higher weight to ASUCD executives. This distinction is completely lost at the state and national levels of advocacy, in my experience. -BL
2010-02-26 07:30:28 It makes me feel so welcome to this community when my efforts are belittled. —Risky
2010-02-26 11:03:36 I saw that D&D comic in one of those little christian comic books you find, absolutely hilarious. I wish I could learn real spells at 8th level. —DagonJones
2010-02-28 08:21:46 even though it was obvious, good trolling —StevenDaubert
2010-03-01 02:13:18 Please excuse me Brent. I searched "people's vanguard of davis". It also is not listed on the "media" page. —BruceHansen
2010-03-01 03:13:32 Brent, maybe I only looked at "all pages" instead of doing a search. —BruceHansen
2010-03-04 16:40:10 Where did you get "tear gas" from in your writeup on the home page? (I've been tear gassed by LEO. Their SOP is to use overwhelming amounts if it is used. It sucks and is really clear it is happening, and EMS treats people for awhile afterwards) It's not a minor thing, and I can find no confirmation on any news source, several of which have been doing live reports from the scene. Possibly it was used somewhere other than the I-80 confrontation or someplace where there isn't media? —JabberWokky
2010-03-04 16:40:31 Are you sure it wasn't the pepper balls? —JabberWokky
2010-03-04 19:06:32 my middle name is killjoy... killjoy, bumout. —PxlAted
2010-03-05 14:15:43 Ahh ok! In that case, it might as well remain on there. We might end up wanting to rename the pages to "March 4-x, 2010" depending on what happens with it. —TomGarberson
2010-03-11 16:17:50 Not only did you quote Naruto... you quoted the English dub. Shame. —hankim
2010-03-11 17:27:34 Good point! The running variety. —TomGarberson
2010-04-22 16:10:18 I misread Proposition 13. Could you guide me towards the source that you used? —hankim
P.S. - Not really economics, more of a policy thing.
2010-05-14 02:25:47 it's in the costco membership that they can search you upon exit of the store iirc —StevenDaubert
2010-06-03 19:39:56 Most of the discussion has happened here, although I wasn't a part of it. In reading back over it, it looks like the massive list is probably beyond what the general consensus approves. Listing prices appears not to be a problem in and of itself, though.
The funny thing is that an ugly price list like they had before seems to be much closer to OK than a decent-looking one, based on the discussion there. —TomGarberson
2010-06-15 14:27:57 I seem to be channeling your editing style these past two days. Viva la Labster! —JabberWokky
2010-06-16 15:39:53 "Since we didn't want to jump the gun, on the Knight Foundation grant, I delayed making this page." Is it just me, or are you feeling like you just finished walking through a grant-induced-tunnel and stepped out into open space regarding Wiki Spot plans? —JabberWokky
2010-06-16 15:56:12 Yes. —BrentLaabs
2012-04-03 14:28:16 It's good to see your privilege still exists. You have to exert it every once in a while, or it might just disappear. —EliYani
2012-04-03 15:42:45 Well, I think it's better if MW explains her comments, since I don't want to put words in her mouth. However, I think the basic point is that some people, because of the color of their skin and the nature of our society, have experiences X, Y, and Z, and others, because they have a different color skin, have experiences A, B, and C. As a result of their different experiences, one group may have difficulty seeing why something is problematic for another group, and because they can't see it, they brush it off. I don't think it's racist to point that out.
Did you come back to the wiki after all this time to argue about the Occupy movement and otherwise pick fights, or to add content? —CovertProfessor
2012-04-03 17:40:08 Pretty sure I never called you a stupid white male. Thanks for putting words in my mouth, though. If you don't understand what "check your privilege" means, see here for clarification. —MeggoWaffle
2012-04-03 19:51:14 I would be interested in your definition of racism. I am unclear as to how pointing out your white male identity and the privileges that stem from it is racist. —MeggoWaffle
2012-04-03 20:26:24 Ok, I will take you at your word, then, and try to explain. You said, "I understand you may have racist views, but please keep them off of the wiki. This is a space where people should be respectful to one another, and work cooperatively to build consensus."
Saying that MW has racist view is hardly being respectful or conducive to working cooperatively. You took the worst possible interpretation of what she said, an interpretation that you have yet to explain. At your request, I explained to you why I thought her comments were not at all racist, but you haven't responded to that, either. —CovertProfessor
2012-04-03 20:52:27 I am glad to see the productive edits; thank you.
Here is another reading of your exchange with MW: I think her original comment *was* meant to inform; although you may not have heard the phrase "check your privilege" before, it is widely used, and she had no way of knowing that you hadn't heard it before. Your response to her doesn't indicate that you didn't understand the phrase, but it does indicate that you were brushing off what she was saying with (as you say) a flippant comment. So, then she says something that amounts to "it's all too easy to brush off a concern if you never had experiences that would allow you to fully understand the concern" and you call her a racist. I think that that was out of line on your part. You admittedly didn't understand what she was saying at first, yet you somehow knew she was making a racist comment? You later accused her of making an ad hominem. How about trying the principle of charity, i.e., read what she said in the most charitable way possible, not the least charitable way possible? —CovertProfessor
2012-04-04 09:14:04 Ok, let me try to explain how I see the issue with the term "Occupy" and perhaps that will help, although I am starting to fear that you are determined to see yourself as the wronged party no matter what I say.
Using the term "Occupy" for the name of the movement is, for some, similar or the same as using the names "The Final Solution," "Crusade" (yes, I know about the organization on campus — don't get me started" or "Jihad." I might be a Native American whose people were kicked off of their land and shuttled to a reservation where no food would grow and where there was nothing to hunt. I might have grown up in a culture that was completely demoralized, groping to resuscitate the tattered remains of that culture which the government sought to wipe out through "education" and "reform." I might have watched some of the members of my family deal with this through drugs and alcohol and watched others succeed in avoiding that fate only by leaving their people. All of this as a result of those who proclaimed their right to "occupy" lands that belong to my ancestors. And I might be one of the successful ones who fought my way to college and who has been trying ever since to bring the ongoing plight of my people to the attention of others. So, when someone like that expresses a concern about the name "Occupy" and you reply, "Those people might need to chill and realize that one can't get everything one asks for" I might think that having to pay high tuition isn't the worst thing that can happen to someone. I might wonder when my people will get anything that they asked for, and why our concerns are always, again and again, being brushed over. I might hope that in a university community, people would at least listen to what I had to say and not just tell me to "chill" without considering my concerns — that they could disagree with me about the name of the movement, but that they should at least acknowledge where I am coming from and not just dismiss me and my concerns. I might point out that that person's privileged position, based on their race and gender, is why they fail to see my concerns worthy of any consideration. And if that person takes offense at me pointing this out, I might be inclined to say, "those people need to chill and realize that having someone pointing out your privilege is not the worst thing that can happen to someone."
That is my genuine attempt to explain what has happened here. If you still think you are entirely the wronged party... well, I'm not sure what else I can say, other than I think you are sorely mistaken. —CovertProfessor
2012-04-04 11:05:09 In fact, I think it does belong on the wiki. I think you've played out a scenario that has occurred within the group itself, with some members dismissing the concerns about the name out of hand and others pointing out that this dismissal stems out of privilege. —CovertProfessor
2012-04-04 11:21:19 I can, but honestly, at this point I'm not inclined to. Maybe later. Right now I feel as though I have gone out of my way to explain things patiently and clearly with very little response to the substance of my comments on your part. I'd like to hear something from you other than your feelings about being personally attacked. —CovertProfessor
2012-04-05 13:12:40 Well, yes, there is probably no point in continuing that particular conversation now. However, I am quite annoyed that you kept asking questions, which I spent a fair amount of time answering, only to have you ignore them. In the future I would expect you to actually engage in dialogues that you begin. —CovertProfessor
2012-04-06 05:16:35 I never said a thing the whole time cause I knew you would speak for me
2012-04-06 07:54:12 Your long explanation on my page is all beside the point. As I said to WL, I have no problem with principled and respectful disagreement over whether the term "occupy" is appropriate. What I do object to is what you did initially — which was to completely dismiss the concerns with the line "Those people might need to chill and realize that one can't get everything one asks for." Now, if you want to say that you had in mind your pragmatic reasons all along, well, that's interesting, but not really relevant to others who cannot read your mind and who can only judge by your actions. It is also exceedingly doubtful to me that anyone who really understood those concerns would say something dismissive like that (not to mention that you admitted that you didn't know of any use of the term "occupy" to imply "oppression," so I am not sure how you can now claim to have reflected on those concerns). Again, one can understand those concerns and still disagree with them, but one who simply dismisses those concerns is, I think, in a position where they have not suffered under an occupation. And the gargantuan leap by where you come to call MW a racist — sorry, still not buying it, for the reasons I have already stated, and whatever you think of her tactics pragmatically has nothing to do with whether her statement was racist or not. It wasn't. —CovertProfessor —P.S. If you genuinely are a pragmatist, then you should not be making flippant, dismissive comments, as they tend to only inflame (as they have done here) rather than persuade.
2012-05-24 08:03:27 Hey Brent, maybe you could help me out with the MIND Institute page? I work there, and several years ago the Institute actually officially changed its name to not have the periods between the letters. I went to rename the page, and that's how I found out there was that other page that had been created just last year with the now correct name. More pages linked to the old MIND Institute page so I instead tried to delete the new one and was then going to rename the old one to not have the periods between the letters. Ideas? —DavidBenjamin
2012-05-25 23:26:20 Thanks for doing the arboretum navigation table. An elegant solution. —CovertProfessor
2012-05-26 00:02:37 Maybe for the future. For now, you've made it much easier for someone to explore the arboretum pages. —CovertProfessor
2012-12-11 07:36:40 It's OK with me, too. I thought others might be bothered by it, but if not, great! —CovertProfessor
2012-12-14 13:36:02 Love the Comic Sans! I wish that was on my diploma. —PhilipNeustrom
2013-03-18 11:05:34 Your election model is simultaneously the least scientific and most hilarious one I've ever seen. —MaxwellKappes
2013-04-02 20:54:51 If it wasn't for the sarcasm dripping off your note, I'd thank you :P Actually if it really was a compliment, I am appreciative. Am I wrong? Is he no longer banned? —PeteB