April 6, 2013

"Idle noodling."

Is that the best expression to explain your hypothetical about raping an unconscious woman — after the not-getting-the-concept-of-hypotheticals crowd goes ballistic on you?

96 comments:

rhhardin said...

Do moral lines form a planar graph. That's my question.

It might be like supplying water, telephone and electricity to three houses.

Get the math department involved.

Ambrose said...

What surprises me is that it is a doctoral candidate leading the charge. How can you get that far in education without grasping the concept of hypotheticals? I suspect there is more going on here - but I always suspect that

chickelit said...

Rape is not idle canoodling, awake or asleep.

Shouting Thomas said...

Some prissy hysterics launching a rape hysteria on campus!

In other words, the usual.

edutcher said...

Kind of like the whole Incest Isn't Really Icky thing.

rhhardin said...

It's noodling because his raping of the unaware woman is him figuratively raping his unaware readers.

He could double down and ask if they ever fell asleep on the bus, and so how do they know it didn't already happen to them. And yet they're not psychically damaged.

Press the hypothetical home.

tim maguire said...

Same old same old. Is there anything new to say about the state of thinking on campus?

Rick Caird said...

This is much to do about nothing (again). Landsburg posited it as a question, not a suggestion. Feel free to answer the question, but not to attack the questioner.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Professor-

Although you have a Steven Landsburg tag, it was not added to a previous post of yours:

More Sex Is Safer Sex.

He even showed up in the comment section for that post.

MadisonMan said...

a doctoral candidate leading the charge

He's doing it to get laid.

I like rhhardin's idea: Ask these people: How do you know this hasn't already happened to you? Then ask them if they actually know what a hypothetical means.

But of course, people leading the charge have no wish to engage in dialog.

Inga said...

His "hypothetical" seems to be more of an attempt to emulate Limbaugh, using his tenured position. Why doesn't he just get a gig on the radio?

lincolntf said...

An idle noodle is he Devil's plaything.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Not only did Steven Landberg show up in the comments, but there is also a wonderful example of Meade flirting with the Professor.

cryptical said...

David Friedman has a couple blog posts about this, comparing and contrasting an old law review article from Robert Bork with Landsburg's hypothesis. Interesting reading.

http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2013/04/landsburg-v-bork-what-counts-as-injury.html

whoresoftheinternet said...

Once upon a time, I'd get all up in arms about "freedom of speech" about this.

But this is Obama's rapidly failing world, and I really don't give a shit. Besides, the fag is in England, which is a full-on totalitarian state with friendly smiles. England arrested a woman on the subway for talking about her anti-immigration views, and a musician for playing "Everyone was Kung-Fu Fighting" when some east Asian people walked by. And let's not forget when thousands of blacks burned London to the ground and England blamed...white people.

Screw the 'Sceptered Isle. It's a 1984-esque nightmare with pretty old buildings. Anyone there at this point knows what's up and hasn't done shit to stop it, so when they get arrested for free speech, fuck 'em.

rcocean said...

An economist. Not surprised.

GrandpaMark said...

And yet, no outrage over Bloomberg "fingering" Cuomo?

Chip Ahoy said...

Idle noodling refers to his own loosely formed intellectual rumination(s).

Noodle being the bean, the head. That reminds me, know what's a good cure for water on the brain? A tap on the head.

Anthony said...

He's a devotee of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and is preparing a religious freedom defense.

pduggie said...

I wonder how "academic freedom" and "this man doesn't speak for the university" fit together, really.

On the one hand, sure, he's hired by the university and then allowed to say anything he wants.

But he does, in some sense "speak for the university" since they hired him expecting him to say things.

What if a university hires a total 100 professors, and 90 of them say something objectionable, together. Have they spoken "for the university"?

Who speaks for a university if not the faculty.

And if you hired him, and now he says awful things, don't you bare part of the blame for a bad decision?

pduggie said...

"But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."

The University wants to be Jesus.

Jeff Teal said...

Academic freedom for the prof.And I agree with his Fluke analysis.

Chip Ahoy said...

If you must call taking advantage of a situation, following through where your party of interest has dropped off, crashed at a party from drinking, but there to have fun to begin with and possibly even hook up, rape, call all that rape, then being reasonable human beans you must also consider rape similar situations with similar elements.

Roommate and not a party guest, draws a crudely drawn cock (henceforth cdc) across the face of his sleeping roommate.

All. Across. The. Face.

Balls with hair on the cheek, shaft drawn diagonally, spewing on the opposite side forehead.

Just regular sleeping. No party involved. No drinking.

The roommate, older by some few years, woke up and beat the living shit out of the youthful prankster. Put him in hospital. Was arrested for assault.

Wazzamatter, can't take a joke?

cassandra lite said...

Here's the pertinent analogy: Are you, as a young student who enters this institute of higher learning expecting to receive a world-class education, ever going to sue us for filling your young skull full of mush with multi-culti drivel guaranteed to make you a worse person for the fact of how intolerant you've become of unapproved ideas?

rcocean said...

"We're worried that a professor who teaches hundreds of students, who was voted professor of the year, and is in a position of great power and influence, is telling the community at large that rape might be OK."

After all, its not like telling the world that something harmless like Marxism or communism is OK. Or sending the message that you can kill security guards as long as its for "the Revolution".

Rape crosses the line.

rcocean said...

Stepping on Jesus = making people think.

Hypothetical about Rape = Fire his ass.

Oso Negro said...

He could have said worse. What if he launched into a hypothetical about pederasty (minor-attracted persons in the newspeak), something on the order of what if in the future we build them little sex robots. They get their jollies, no one gets hurt.

Panachronic said...

Evidently, according to this link from Instapundit, some women enjoy this sort of thing:

http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/166558/

Chip Ahoy said...

Idle noodling (cannelloni with lamb)

Smilin' Jack said...

You can extend this argument to murder, too. If someone's asleep and you blow their head off, they never even know about it, so what's the harm?

The Godfather said...

What seems odd to me is that the Prof. didn't immediately say, when he was criticized, "For crying out loud, I didn't defend rape, I posited a hypothetical set of facts and ASKED whether that should be regarded as rape, and why. Answer the question, don't complain that it's been asked." The fact that he maundered on about "noodling" makes me wonder if he really WAS trying to defend rape.

Illuninati said...

I don't get it. Why doesn't the school tell the students to grow up? He is a college professor? He is hired to teach students how to ask questions and to think about them? How can you explore the limits of ideas without asking hypootheticals, even ridiculous ones?

rcocean said...

Is there any harm in stealing a dead man's clothes?

Not that I've ever done that. I'm just asking for a friend.

dc said...

His hypothetical,had me raising my eyebrows somewhat.
On balance,his mocking of Sandra Fluke last year still has him in the plus column.

AlanKH said...

Wasn't the prof's hypothetical a scene in Animal House?

jr565 said...

Should rape be illegal if the victim is unconscious, the professor wrote, and if no physical harm results?

That's actually a good question if you take into accout what you think of morality. Is it subjective, is it objective.
If you could get away with raping someone and they never knew you did it, and thus didn't recognize the harm that ensued (assuming you did not in fact harm them while you were doing your raping)was a harm actually commited?
To tie it into another post of the day, what if you could also look yourself in the mirror after commiting this rape?

Patrick said...

On a similar note, the student victims at Swarthmore have been spared the indignity of hearing an opinion with which they may disagree.

Whew!

jr565 said...

AlanKH wrote:
Wasn't the prof's hypothetical a scene in Animal House?

How about the scene in Revenge of The Nerds, when after the big contest where the nerds trounce the jocks the head nerd puts on Stan's Darth Vader mask and gets invited to have sex with the hot cheerleader (who thinks he's Stan because he's wearing the mask).
Then after giving her good cunnilingus he takes off the mask and reveals himself. She intitally gets mad "youre that nerd!" but then after ruminating on the excellent quality of his cunnilingus skills she says "Are all nerds as good as you"> and he replies "Yes, beacuse all jocks think about sports, and all nerds think about sex". And the at the end of the movie she is in love and rushes into his arms.
Was that a rape?

jr565 said...

He said if he had thought about the hypothetical a bit more he might have used this one instead:
"I could have replaced the whole thing with somebody who steals your car while you're sleeping and returns it without your knowing," "That would have been just as good."

It probably would have been better in that those who can't understand a hypothetical wouldn't immediately have gone into the villagers with pitchforks and torches trying to kill the Frankenstein monser mode and recognized the hypothetical for what it was and respond with a "yes or a no" type answer to address the hypothetical.

But you know, that's their fault, not his fault. THey are simply idiots

tim said...

ha ha, Cassandra lite said anal

Big Mike said...

If he meant to be provacative, he surely succeeded.

Shouting Thomas said...

I don't get the underlying assumption of the left.

Is it that if every person is immediately shouted down as soon as any "inappropriate" thought about rape is uttered, rape will never occur again?

JAL said...

What's with this guy.

Isn't he an economist?

(After looking at the 2007 post.)

Nomennovum said...

The professor shouldn't be noodling. He should be preaching the accepted standard lines about rape. He's a witch. Burn him!

traditionalguy said...

The thought question reveals that most people instinctively know sex is way more than rubbing elbows with a stranger. Sex causes a bonding of the participants whether intended or not intended. So the crowd asserting that unknown rape is as OK as unknown rubbing elbows in a crowd are in favor of the violating a human soul's need to be pure from the taint of other souls.

Lem said...

While emotions are part of The discussion they/it should not the determinant driving it.

We have religion for that.

Jason said...

Suppose, my dear students, that you have trouble grasping hypotheticals. And suppose further that you are an idiotic pack of baying libtard hyenas. But I repeat myself.

Saint Croix said...

ah, that's why you have tenure!

Nomennovum said...

The professor was acting like Rush Limbaugh! Burn him!

Nomennovum said...

The professor is an economist, not a feminist, and so not qualified to speak on this! Burn him!

The professor is a man, not a woman, and so not qualified to speak on this! Burn him!

Lem said...

These people, reacting to a hypothetical, could very well be answering Clinton's midst Lewinski's job approvals - as long as he is doing his job, his personal life is between him and Hillary. so it went.

You might say... Bill's was a consensual relationship...

That's what this professor is exploring... What do we mean by consent?

con·sen·su·al
1.Relating to or involving consent, esp. mutual consent.
2.Relating to or involving consensus.

It looks like some people are uncomfortable going there.

Con_sensual... its a con!

Don't you go there!

Steven said...

The real reason he's in trouble is that nobody can figure out how to answer him.

Steven said...

Lem -

Was Bill's a consensual relationship? The power differential between "President of the United States" and "intern" is such that lots of classic '80s and '90s feminist theory would, a priori, have declared consent was impossible.

Dante said...

The question ought to be extended: no harm at all including if the person found out, to the actor, to society, etc. I think that would be hard to argue against provided there was a positive.

The problem with this hypothetical is that it's impossible to know these things.

Lem said...

Something is going on out there and I don't know that professor Landsburg knows, or is absolutely confident that the lesson is not going to get away from him.

We just had, here in NJ, a college Basketball coach fired, because some practice videos surfaced calling into question his coaching techniques.

Basketball is a physical contact sport and so is righteous indignation these days.

I cant help but think that the equality quest, wherever it may be or whatever it may be, is driving it.

Lem said...

Was Bill's a consensual relationship?

I'm just relating what the polls at the time seemed to imply.

Lem said...

There is also something about masks... that comes to mind.

Remember Michelle' "I'm a single mother" slip?

With the aid of facebook and twitter, some of us are very busy projecting an image of what we would like others to believe about us... and I don't know that is necessarily for the best.

If your wife is sleeping and you sergeant at arms is standing at attention announcing an unscheduled state of the union, do you try not awake your mate (I should say mate, in case is a same sex type deal) and choke the sergeant into submission, or do you very gently, so as not to awake your dead tired mate, and just, you know, rub a little... live a little.

Consensual?

wyo sis said...

What if someone came into your house and licked all of your food and peed into your iced tea and put feces on your toilet flusher. No harm ever comes of it and no one ever knows. Have you or your home been violated?

wyo sis said...

What if you get hepatitis but you recover?
What if you just get a little food poisoning, but feel better after vomiting and having diarrhea all night?
Fun with hypotheticals.

wyo sis said...

What if he installs a camera and watches you while you live your life, but never harms you and you never know about it?

Alex Ignatiev said...

When I initially read Prof. Landsburg's post, I knew he had voluntarily entered into a horrid shitstorm of the kind he enjoys inhabiting. Still, after I got over my truly (emotionally) horrified response, I understood exactly where he was coming from. Disconnecting our laws from the ick factor is an important inquiry; is it appropriate; how do we do it; are we as coldly rational as we claim; what is the anxiety of our legal influence?

Lem said...

What if he installs a camera and watches you while you live your life, but never harms you and you never know about it?

Are you calling Facebook and Twitter crude?... as in why can't I get more than just pictures with words... why can't I have... Google glass?

Lem said...

Traffic light cameras everywhere...

How Consensual is that?

betamax3000 said...

Get used to it: the new terminology will be 'consensual rape.'

Lem said...

You know... maybe Consent removes an uncertain element that serves to heighten sexual arousal... I don't know... don't try to get me banned. I'm just babbling.

I had a girlfriend that wanted me to go into the Metropolitan Ladies room with her to make out and whatever... I didn't think any less of her because of it... I was actually a little jealous? that I didn't have that go-to mechanism.

betamax3000 said...

I think it is important to clarify that 'Steven Landsburg' is NOT 'Steve Landesberg' from 'Barney Miller'.

My good deed for the night.

betamax3000 said...

From Wiki:

Det. Arthur Dietrich (Steve Landesberg): An intellectual detective with a calm, unflappable nature and a seemingly endless supply of knowledge on a wide array of subjects.

betamax3000 said...

And, when talking about 'Barney Miller':

"The distinctive opening notes of the bass line of Jack Elliott and Allyn Ferguson's theme music, performed by studio musician Chuck Berghofer,[2] are played over a shot of the New York skyline as seen from the water of Upper New York Bay — from Season 2 on, with a garbage barge being towed in the foreground of Lower Manhattan."

Time blurs everything: my memory of the Barney Miller theme now overlaps with the Seinfeld intro.

betamax3000 said...

The young today do not remember Abe Vigoda.

betamax3000 said...

Interesting on the following Wiki:

# Det. Stanley Thaddeus "Wojo" Wojciehowicz (Max Gail): Naive, gung-ho but goodhearted Polish-American, who gradually transforms from a macho former Marine into a sensitive character who tries to see things from his decidedly humanitarian point of view while performing his duties as a detective.

# Sgt. Ron Nathan Harris (Ron Glass): Ambitious, intellectual African-American, who lives well beyond his means, and who frequently seems more preoccupied with his attire and his career as a writer than with his police work.

# Sgt. Nick Yemana (Jack Soo); Surreally philosophical, wisecracking Japanese-American detective. Noted for his "off the wall" sense of humor and wry observations about life, as well as for his gambling habits, extraordinarily poor paperwork filing "skills" and for making extremely bad coffee for the other members of the squad.

# Sgt. Miguel "Chano" Amangual (Gregory Sierra): A dauntless, beleaguered Puerto Rican detective, who is very brave and very emotionally attached to his job.

Polish, African-American, Japanese, Puerto Rican.


Working together.

It was a different time.

betamax3000 said...

'Barney Miller' was 'Star Trek' without the spaceship.

betamax3000 said...

"After mistaken reports of his death in 1982 and 1987, Vigoda has been the subject of running gags as to whether he is dead or alive. Good naturedly, he made regular appearances on television shows to make fun of the error. In February 2010, Vigoda appeared with fellow octogenarian Betty White in a widely seen and well-liked Super Bowl ad for Snickers candy bars."

Still alive.


"Can't do it, Sally."

betamax3000 said...

"A tray of cocktails floated at us through the twilight, and we sat down at a table with the two girls in yellow and three men, each one introduced to us as Abe Vigoda."

Methadras said...

I see no issue here since he posited it as a hypothetical. Is he not allowed to do that? They don't have to like what he said and that's clearly what's going on here. I don't like it either, but hey, I would just ignore him as a crank. So what was the purpose of posting this hypothetical anyway?

betamax3000 said...

Astrology: Abe Vigoda, date of birth: 1921/02/24,

Fitzgerald's Gatsby: "Fitzgerald returned the final batch of revised galleys in the middle of February 1925."

Time is a Telescope.

betamax3000 said...

I do not believe Abe Vigoda ever felt the Hot Whips of Panic.

Not once.

betamax3000 said...

"When the melody rose, her voice broke up sweetly, following it, in a way contralto voices have, and each change tipped out a little of Abe Vigoda upon the air."

betamax3000 said...

Steve Landesberg:

"Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense."



betamax3000 said...

I bet that -- in the mid-seventies -- Ann had an intellectual crush on Steve Landesberg. She was wearing Capri pants.

betamax3000 said...

There is a point where every man with eyeglasses puts his glasses on the nightstand.

betamax3000 said...

I believe Barney Miller served as a crossing point in our criminal justice system.

Criminals might be misunderstood, misguided, funny and mentally ill, but they still spent a night in the cell.

The last of the Andy Griffith School of Incarceration.

betamax3000 said...

Barney Fife might've had only one bullet but he still understood guns better than our current media.

betamax3000 said...

The 'Barney Miller' theme could also mash together with the music from 'Sanford & Son'.

In the Seventies a bass riff connotated grit.

betamax3000 said...

The televised life of 'Barney Miller' spanned from Gerald Ford to Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.

I see a Masters Thesis in the making.

betamax3000 said...

From 'Barney Miller':

Yemana: Then Fish runs in the alley and he leaps over us like one of those, what do you call those things in Africa that run and leap in the air?

Detective Ron Harris: Slaves.

Again: Seventies = Different World.

betamax3000 said...

[Nick is talking to Internal Affairs]

Yemana: I'm not Chinese, you know.

Captain William Donnelly: That doesn't matter, Detective.

Yemana: Now it doesn't matter; but in 1942...

betamax3000 said...

Dietrich: I've always admired the Japanese outlook on death. The calm acceptance, the treating it as a part of life...

Yemana: [to Wojo] I dunno what he's talking about - personally, I'm going kicking and screaming all the way.

Wojo: Well, why don't you tell him that?

Yemana: I like my image.

AlanKH said...

I liked the episode with the army recruiter who eyed Yemana with suspicion as if WWII were still in progress. Best exchange:

Army recruiter: "Why would anyone want to blow up a U.S. Military installation?"

Yemana: "Nostalgia?"

Edgehopper said...

So, just so I'm clear on which hypothetical actions are debatable and which are beyond the pale:

* Suggesting that it should be legal for parents to kill their disabled infants (Peter Singer at Princeton) - Completely OK. Have some grant money.

* Killing innocent police officers for the revolution, and never showing any remorse for it or renouncing your murderous ways (Kathy Boudin at Columbia and NYU Law) - Awesome! Have a fellowship!

* Suggest that a sexual encounter with an unconscious woman that causes no physical harm might not be rape - Die, chauvinist heretic!!

kentuckyliz said...

So...it's not rape if you use rohypnol.

You can torture infants because they won't remember it.

Lem said...

So what was the purpose of posting this hypothetical anyway?

Our ideas of what Consent means has to keep up with the technology redefining it?

The "closer" the technology "brings us together" the more boundaries we are going to cross.

For example...Wouldn't things be easier if issues of gender went away?

Same-sex-whatever would no longer be an issue.

I'm not saying the technology per say, like the technology is sentient or colluding with liberals and radical feminist or something nefarious like that... What I'm saying is that new generations of people will use the technology and then make up whatever consensual designations necessary to make things go.

If that's unsettling... we can take some comfort in the fact that that is probably the way it has always been. Sometimes the new drives out the old by radically changing the rules.

Methadras said...

Lem said...

So what was the purpose of posting this hypothetical anyway?

Our ideas of what Consent means has to keep up with the technology redefining it?

The "closer" the technology "brings us together" the more boundaries we are going to cross.

For example...Wouldn't things be easier if issues of gender went away?

Same-sex-whatever would no longer be an issue.

I'm not saying the technology per say, like the technology is sentient or colluding with liberals and radical feminist or something nefarious like that... What I'm saying is that new generations of people will use the technology and then make up whatever consensual designations necessary to make things go.

If that's unsettling... we can take some comfort in the fact that that is probably the way it has always been. Sometimes the new drives out the old by radically changing the rules.


Consent given is the only thing that should prevail. If it is not due to unconsciousness then it you can never attain that consent. I do not see how technology can compel consent implied or otherwise. By the way, I believe all implied consent laws are idiotic. They should be done away with. Consent must be voluntary and not under duress.

Dante said...

What if someone came into your house and licked all of your food and peed into your iced tea and put feces on your toilet flusher. No harm ever comes of it and no one ever knows. Have you or your home been violated?

One way of thinking of this is "Hey, if it didn't hurt you, why are you bothered?" In my view, that's a BS argument. There is harm there. I've suffered enough psychological damage from others to know that. It would be like saying some guy pulled a gun on you, pulled the trigger, but it was empty. No harm, so it's OK, right?

So that's problem one with the idea. Problem two is the potential damage to society. That is, "Hey, this behavior is OK." So guess what, you will get more of it, and in cases where it is damaging. That's simply a problem with they hypothetical, is it doesn't take into account social costs.

The third problem is damage to the individual committing the act. If it has to be kept secret, hidden from society, then the individual can never be "right" with society, and that has it's own costs, and can lead to further degeneration.

I think you have to pose the question as I did above, which is no damage under any circumstance, including should the individual come to know about it.

Now, there was a case when a bored rich guy drugged a lot of women with a date rape drug, and raped them while using a condom. The police elected to let some 18 of the women so raped know about it. I don't know whether all were, but many were traumatized. I have a hard time understanding the point of that: make sure the guy has no STDs, and let it lie. Though I would want to know.

I also have a friend who is very smart, and he told me once, after he was mugged, unconscious, due to various drugs, and I put it to him then "What would have happened if you were raped?" His response was "if it didn't hurt me, why should I care?" This guy's IQ is north of 165, he dropped out of school in the 4th grade, and has worked at some high tech titans. He was bored, always. Perhaps he had to dull his senses by taking drugs.

Craig said...

Hypothetically, the rapist loses his job as a senator and his victim becomes the wife of a university vice president.

Craig said...

Pardon me. University president, not vice president.

Mitchell the Bat said...

The vagina is a sacred relic.

The fight is over who controls the temple.