I Choose Business Ethics
I don’t know the first thing about the adjunct justice issue. I’m just an artist. But I am all too familiar with Jason Brennan’s temperament when given the least bit of push back. In short, he behaves like an insecure child, accuses you of being angry even though he’s the one who rants and raves like an infant in the midst of a tantrum while demonstrating his lack of intellectual honesty and humility.
At least that’s my experience dealing with the guy in the context of his utterly nonsensical analogy of likening markets to guitar amps. He had every chance to admit, right away, that the analogy had no place in a scholarly analysis of markets when I posted my response.
Instead I had to out-Jason Brennan him in the ensuing comments until he finally admitted that the analogy wasn’t originally intended to be included in the book. Then he went on to say that he still thinks he’s right.
Tangential side note: That’s when he thought I was mad, but as an artist I was merely acting as a mirror to show him his own reflection… because that’s what artists do… they reflect what is unseen when somebody cannot see the forest for the trees… I was actually in pain from all the laughter… needless to say, Brennan was not amused.
Remember, this is the guy who puffs his chest out about how he’s a big bad PhD at big bad Georgetown and well published in big bad respected academic journals (that nobody reads) as well as his numerous books, of which I own three, so everybody should defer to him. When I pointed out that the shoe was on the other foot in this particular instance, since I’m the musician, he cried foul.
By any objective measurement Jason Brennan is pretty brilliant and extremely accomplished (even if his conclusions might not be on occasion), with a great American dream rags to riches story… which makes all of this even more confusing.
I feel it’s also relevant to point out that I’ve been an avid BHL reader since day one, though I must say my enthusiasm has been waning in perpetuity ever since Brennan turned it into his personal petty bully pulpit well over a year ago. He used to post thought provoking philosophical thought experiments and the like. What happened? Why the paradigm shift? Now he’s just a whiny punk. Excuse me, but that’s my job!
I also noticed an interesting correlation between the uptick in Brennan’s frequent vulgarity at BHL and the lack of regular posting from the cream of their blog roster’s crop. I don’t know if it implies any causation at all, but it’s curious… at least to me.
Of course, he and his cohorts think they’re doing excellent work, but that’s what I like to call “plaques for hacks.” Or if I can be blunt, this is the indictment I levied against him and anyone acting as his sycophants, by proxy or otherwise:
you try to land the equivalent of a passive aggressive sucker punch like an insecure child playing keyboard commando and seeking validation from the self congratulatory how-dare-anybody-piss-inside-the-tent echo chambered circle jerk of an epistemically closed off bubble that is the community of online libertarianism
Then I saw a response to Brennan regarding the adjunct debate (since he intends to write a book on the so-called “business ethics” of modern universities and cited first year composition classes as the lone bogeyman data point as “a jobs program for low quality intellectuals”) that managed to capture my sentiments in one beautiful sentence (adjunct debate notwithstanding, it’s way beyond my sphere of expertise):
I just don’t get this. Why would someone want to spend his time this way?
Exactly! Especially when it’s aimed at a person who’s philosophy is, if I may generalize, supposed to be that of a bleeding heart libertarian who values the individual above the coercive institution. But what do I know? I don’t have a PhD in philosophy.
Perhaps the classic Adam Sandler movie Billy Madison best portrays Jason Brennan’s disposition in the character of Eric Gordon, played by actor Bradley Whitford. So let’s finish this post with a refrain of its title: “I choose business ethics.”