Turns out, if I have the translation right, that new logo of Sydney University might be Verum Dediscere. Unlearn Truth.
I learned of this in a tweet from CC Pecknold. That’s where the picture above arose. A new ad campaign to encourage students to journey to Sydney and be indoctrinated in non-truth.
Reacting to the original tweet, one fellow said, “Their toilets swirl the other way, too.”
The Unlearn home page makes several promises. Under a picture of two men presumably “oriented” toward sodomy and pretending to be married, Sydney tells us to “Unlearn love”. Under jailed manicured hands with pink nail polish “Unlearn criminal”. Under a marijuana plant “Unlearn medicine”.
Clicking “Unlearn love”—because what could be better than unlearning love—brings us this:
From the day we’re born, we love. But what makes us love one thing, one way, one person over another? And how can we use love to create a more inclusive and diverse community?…
Diversity and inclusion have always been an important part of who we are…
Today, it’s one of the reasons we support our Ally Network, which promotes cultural change and creates an inclusive community for our staff and students to thrive and realise their potential.
We believe that a diverse, inclusive community is a stronger one.
They didn’t get the memo that Diversity is our weakness. Skip that. Did you ever notice that whenever somebody starts telling you about a subject “Keep an open mind” you know you are about to be bamboozeled? Same thing when they tell you about “We want an inclusive community”. Nobody who says this means it. What they want instead is a rigorously controlled and restricted community.
Under “Unlearn criminal”, this:
Good citizens live safely behind a nation’s walls or its protecting seas. Criminals, we’re told, sneak inside our borders, around our systems, and beat the queue.
So far, so good. The very definition of “criminals” is those who break the law. But, no. What they really mean is “Keeping minds — and doors — open.” Everybody has the right to live where they want, as long as where they want to live is certain Western countries (and they’re not white).
Under “Unlearn Truth”, this:
Professor Nick Enfield and his team are fighting the war against deception through the Post Truth Initiative. By bringing together political scientists, academics and researchers to examine legitimacy and fraud, they run public forums on the problems created by scientific fraud and explore why people are convinced by stories, but not by facts.
They’re also building a “Bullshit Detector” — a computer capable of analysing speeches, articles and even tweets to tell if someone is being deceptive.
Maybe people are convinced by “stories, but not by facts” is because facts are not convincing of anything: you first need a story before you can even have facts. Same in science. You don’t know what facts to measure without a guiding theory, i.e. story.
I also call BS on the BS detector. It’s not that such a thing is a priori impossible, but it isn’t needed. And it will give the false patina of Science! to what are bound to be political judgments.
The deatils of unlearning are this:
We’re changing the way we teach and how our students learn…
Unlearning is about challenging the established, and questioning the accepted.
It’s not about ignoring what you already know, but it’s about being brave enough to question it and break down old rules so we can write new ones. It’s about looking at things in the context of today, and tomorrow.
Because who needs tradition? And who wants history, that ugly place full of hate and crusty rules?
Following this are banalites about “the future of work” and cell phones, presumably the two subjects which most interest potential students. Also a video whose splash image is of three women in hijabs holding skate boards. Because nothing shots “Australia!” better.
All this leads to a link called “The Sydney Undergraduate Experience“. Here are the promised experiences:
– gain a deep understanding of your chosen disciplines of study and learn from those who are leaders in their fields
– set yourself up to go anywhere in the world by gaining the skills and understanding to work effectively across cultural boundaries
– study across or work with other disciplines to build your skills and tackle some of the most complex challenges of our time
– bridge the gap between theory and application by working on real-world industry, community, research and entrepreneurship projects.
These eighty words are almost entirely empty of content, and thus were probably typed out by a graduate in “Communications”, that ubiquitous amorphous major. You can’t only fault Sydney here, as these bullet points are found on many university sites.