This week’s Science (29 May edition) has an unintentionally hilarious short piece.
Seems Auburn, California wanted to name a park after local-boy-done-good William Shockley, the guy who invented the transistor. The park would have been named “Nobel Laureate William B. Shockley and His Wife Emmy L. Shockley Memorial Park.”
Well, somebody found out even smart people can believe dumb things and that Shockley “proclaimed the intellectual inferiority of black people and favored involuntary sterilization for people with low IQs.”
Kahl Muscott was incensed that people in the past like Shockley didn’t have his modern sensibilities and is—what else?—protesting. He wants to rename the park and put up a placard that reads, “This park is dedicated to people of all races, ethnicities, beliefs, education levels, intelligences, and walks of life who wish to live together in peace & harmony.” (It goes on—I kid you not—to say something about Barrack Obama.)
Say, Muscott, when you say “all beliefs”, do you mean the diverse beliefs “black people are inferior” and that “those with low IQs should be involuntarily sterilized”?
Accepting Shockley would be a true demonstration of DIVERSITY, would it not? Condemning him is an acknowledgment that not all beliefs are acceptable, that there should be limits to them, and that it is only a question of where to draw the line.
I suggest drawing it right at the Nobels by appointing a zampolit—a political officer—-for each branch of the award so that no more embarrassments like Shockley occur. And all those who do not meet the standard of modern political purity should be posthumously stripped of their awards, in fairness—and sensitivity—to the Muscott in all of us.
Thus, Einstein (treated his wife badly) and Feynman (hung out in strip clubs) have got to go, them being rank misogynists. Enrico Fermi (war sympathizer) and Werner Heisenberg (Nazi) have no excuses. And word has it that Wolfgang Pauli didn’t like short people. Out they all go.