This clip is one of the reasons why J.K. Rowling was trending last night on Twitter and it is pretty incredible. Watch as a student starts off just blindly accepting that J.K. Rowling is a bigot, to eventually realizing that he really can’t find anything to support the claim:
This is utterly brilliant. A student accuses @jk_rowling of being transphobic. This teacher skilfully dissects the claim and challenges it by asking questions.— Lee Harris (@addicted2newz) February 3, 2024
He teaches not what to think, but how to think critically.
Watch until the end.
You see the epiphany in real-time. pic.twitter.com/x00gWdOugc
The lawyers in the audience will be very quick to recognize what this is: The Socratic Method. To quote the University of Chicago Law School website on the topic:
Socrates (470-399 BC) was a Greek philosopher who sought to get to the foundations of his students' and colleagues' views by asking continual questions until a contradiction was exposed, thus proving the fallacy of the initial assumption. This became known as the Socratic Method, and may be Socrates' most enduring contribution to philosophy.
In practice, it is not always about finding contradictions, but about exposing assumptions and basically teaching people to literally question everything. Of course, as the old saying goes, you don’t want your mind to be so open your brain falls out, but you should always check your own assumptions.
For instance, applied here, we should note that we have no idea when that video was shot. We aren’t even sure where it was shot, or who was participating. We are sharing it because it has recently gotten attention and it speaks for itself. But we admittedly don’t know much beyond that.
The Socratic Method is also a fun way to drive a person crazy on TSMSFKA Twitter (The Social Media Site Formerly Known As Twitter), Socratically interrogating the positions of leftists and showing how incoherent it is. But it’s also probably why this author is on a lot of leftist block lists. As one TSMSFKA Twitter user noted a while back:
It’s like when Kirk used logic to destroy the robot’s processor, only it’s happening on an organic, slow motion planet of clowns.— G-Dada, Free-Speech Test Pilot (@gregzink) June 13, 2023
The most extreme version of the Socratic method used to be practiced at Harvard Law School. The movie The Paper Chase is a pretty soap-opera version of what Harvard Law used to be in the 1970s, but the Socratic Method is on full display in the film. A more grounded version is found in the book One-L by Scott Turow. Turow is now one of those lawyers-who-became-a-novelist types, most famous for writing the book Presumed Innocent. But One-L is nonfictional, discussing his first year at Harvard Law School and we recommend it for anyone interested in law school. But these days no school is truly as tough as Harvard Law was back then, using a gentler variation of the Socratic Method.
Going back to checking our assumptions, in the video the student bases his entire argument on these posts from Rowling:
Dress however you please.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 19, 2019
Call yourself whatever you like.
Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you.
Live your best life in peace and security.
But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill
I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
And, well, those are the easy cases to defend. Her first post involved Maya Forstater who basically lost her job because she dared to question transgender orthodoxy. Rowling is merely defending the right to disagree, not even expressing her own disagreement.
But over time, Rowling has taken more controversial stands. Mind you, this author happens to agree with most of what we have seen her say on the issue, but we don’t deny it is more controversial than simply supporting the right of conscience. For instance, the unseen student in that clip missed a few posts she literally said in the same thread he was quoting from:
The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women - ie, to male violence - ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences - is a nonsense.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
We at Twitchy have also reported on Rowling denouncing people for shrugging their shoulders over stories of biological men invading women’s restrooms and committing rape, denouncing courts for forcing women (allegedly) raped by biological men to refer to their attackers as women, and while we can’t find a Twitchy post on it, she has also said it didn’t make sense to put biological men in women’s prisons or women’s areas in prison.
And just in the past few days, J.K. Rowling supported lesbians who don’t want to date biological men—and that was the other reason why she was trending on TSMSFKA Twitter. That takes a bit of explaining. It started with an account called ‘Scottish Lesbians.’ We have no idea how many Lesbians of Scotland this represents, but regardless they were upset about a display at a local women’s library:
'Lesbians are dying out' portrays lesbianism as a fear of penises, rather than a sexual orientation. pic.twitter.com/E63uZhQU2W— Scottish Lesbians (@ScotLesbians) February 1, 2024
Glasgow Women's Library has an accompanying book display celebrating 'transgender joy'. There's certainly not much joy on display for lesbians. pic.twitter.com/tJR8sQEd1p— Scottish Lesbians (@ScotLesbians) February 1, 2024
This earned a quote post from Rowling:
Glasgow Women's Library has chosen to display a delightful penis-centred work (read the whole thread) designed to shame and coerce lesbians out of same-sex orientation. If anyone can think of a more appropriate name for the Glasgow Women's Library, do let me know. https://t.co/xS6uuWfrFw— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) February 2, 2024
So, she is against Lesbians being pressured to have sex with biological men. Again, we don’t disagree with much of what she is saying, but her stances are controversial … mostly because everything is stupid right now.
In this author’s view, what adults do to themselves is mainly not our business, with these caveats:
1. No person should be required to go along with transgender ideology. For instance, if a person refuses to use another person’s preferred pronouns, that’s their right.
2. Transgender ideology should not be used to invade women’s private spaces. So, sorry, no biological men in women’s restrooms, locker rooms, etc.
3. Transgender ideology should not be used to take opportunities from women where physical differences are relevant. So, for instance, no biological men in most women’s sports.
4. Absolutely no irreversible medical procedures on otherwise healthy children. That means no sex change surgeries, no puberty blockers. We don’t care if the child says ‘yes.’ Children can’t consent. We don’t care if the parents say ‘yes.’ It would be wrong for a parent to cut off a healthy child’s arm and we see no reason to think it is different when they want to cut off a healthy child’s penis.
5. No transitioning without parental notification. We just said we are opposed to irreversible medical procedures, but we think that if parents want to socially transition their kids, that falls within a parents’ right to raise their children how they see fit, even if we disagree. But nothing like that should be done behind the parents’ backs.
6. The government should not be required to pay for any medical treatment for transgender-related issues, nor should it be required by law in any insurance plan. To the extent that there is any right to free medical treatment, it shouldn’t go to any cosmetic surgery, except to fix what has been broken. So, we are okay with a woman who loses a breast to cancer getting a free breast implant, or something similar to that. But we don’t support free breast implants for a healthy woman—she can scrape up the money to pay for it herself. And for the same reason, we oppose free sex reassignment surgery and similar steps, by either taxpayer funds or government mandate.
We think that covers each issue presented by the transgender movement, but it is possible we have failed to account for something. And there are definitely subtleties in our position that we are glossing over.
But outside of that, if a consenting adult wants a sex change surgery, or just to go around as a man in women’s clothing, and vice versa, we don’t agree but we believe that is their right. That’s sometimes what true tolerance is: You think a person is acting foolishly or saying foolish things, but you defend their right to be foolish. We would go as far as saying that if a city passed a law requiring men to dress like men and women to dress like women, we believe that would violate the First Amendment and we would actually fight against such a law. But your right to act foolishly ends when you harm non-consenting third parties, which is where our six principles comes from.
In any case, there were reactions to this this teacher’s back and forth:
If you understand Maoism and how it works, this is an amazing and revelatory watch. This is a direct deprogramming from "the people's standpoint," and it's amazing. https://t.co/Hrfe84CFM6— James Lindsay, anti-Fascist (@ConceptualJames) February 4, 2024
Critical thinking should be the first thing taught to kids https://t.co/8dhvilUKRc— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 4, 2024
Hmm, we think he is overstating it. Critical thinking is important, of course, and it should be taught early, but a child’s first words shouldn’t be ‘question everything’ or something to that effect.
But Musk had more to say, in response to a Gad Saad post:
💯— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 4, 2024
Of course, we are afraid this teacher is more likely to be fired than get a raise.
This is excellent.— AG (@AGHamilton29) February 4, 2024
First, it shows what teachers should be doing: Teach students to think critically and ask questions instead of forcing opinions/conclusions on them.
Second, it exposes the way many of these views have become popularized and can’t stand up to any scrutiny. https://t.co/tNUz9QAzhr
A rare professor who isn’t a brainwashed leftist soldier. If we had more people like this man in academia, fewer of our kids would have had their brains ruined by college. https://t.co/IAVwkDWl8b— Nick Searcy, iNSURRECTIONAL FILM & TELEVISION STAR (@yesnicksearcy) February 4, 2024
Fantastic. The exception to the rule that it’s easier to fool someone than convince them they have been fooled. https://t.co/a38GTFCW1E— Viva Frei (@thevivafrei) February 4, 2024
I used to have friends weeping and wailing over the loss of their hero to transphobia. I would then ask "I'm not familiar with the situation, can you tell me what she said that was hateful?" Crickets... every time. https://t.co/RqTzhXgCuo— LIZZY💥 (@LizzyStarrrdust) February 4, 2024
One of the most disconcerting elements of the transgender movement is how unwilling its adherents are to even debate the topic. You’re just supposed to swallow their incoherent philosophy without question.
The Socratic method remains undefeated. https://t.co/tCVtdZM4Qq— Vanessa (@Nessakins_) February 4, 2024
Let's build an AI version of this teacher. Duplicate him as many times needed and have everyone learn and understand "how to think", not "what to think". Being able to critically think would shrink worldwide polarisation with 90% in one day.— Vincent Lindeboom (@bomvol) February 3, 2024
Right now, AI is actually very unthinking. Frankly, we think the term ‘AI’ is misplaced. There is not any actual thoughts behind the program, it is just designed to try to say something a person might say. We think back to the video game series Mass Effect, where they draw a distinction between AI and VI. AI, a.k.a. Artificial Intelligence is truly a living program with its own will and with actual self-awareness and, in that fictional world, is strictly prohibited throughout most of the galaxy. By comparison, VI is virtual intelligence, a sophisticated program that does a good job imitating life, but lacks actual life, awareness and will. VI is not banned in that fictional world. What we are popularly calling AI these days seems more like that concept of VI.
"Other people say"? People really base beliefs in THAT?! No wonder we're so lost as a society— Frieza, Most Powerful Being In the Universe (@haz_beard) February 3, 2024
It is somewhat depressing that the student ever thought that other people saying it made it true. But maybe in the future, he will question that view.
Everyone is passing this around and it's a satisfying watch but also seems so clearly staged. But good for them for getting Adam Driver! https://t.co/a3xAjhbClo— Meghan Daum (@meghan_daum) February 4, 2024
We take that as a joke, and it’s a funny one.
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