Re: what was that?


Subject: Re: what was that?
From: Linda Seltzer (lseltzer@alumni.caltech.edu)
Date: Wed Aug 17 2005 - 12:49:01 EDT


Those of you who do not live in the US have probably not read George
Lakoff's book on the framing of social issues in Democratic Party
campaigns. The book is called "Don't Think of an Elephant." Lakoff
and others, such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., have written about how
the Republicans, over the years, have been setting up "think tanks,"
awarding fellowships, and funding universities to developright wing
scholarship. This affected the profession of computer music. In
1982 the System Development Foundation (also known as the Rand
Corporation) awarded $10 million in grants to four universities.
The person who organized this grant from Bell Labs was the yes
man to someone in the field of acoustics who had strong ties to the
House Ear Institute, which, aside from its good reputation in
hearing research, was a center of the Republican Party in California.
The House Ear Institute was the Republican's social charity, and the
Shriner's Hospital was the domain of the Democratic party. Ro a
conservative think tank and Republican-leaning executives awarded this
money, which was supposed to develop a computer music workstation. The
money was largely wasted, since a workstation was never developed, even
though $10 million was an unheard of amount for new product development
in those days. However, this money allowed fellowships and
stipends to be awarded to a generation of male graduate students and
staff members from those universities. The only woman I know of who
received any of the money was one physicist from Caltech, whose
previous experience was in something like geoscience. While the
grant did not specifically promote any conservative policy research,
a generation of women was excluded. Princeton and Columbia were
among the schools excluded from this grant, which meant that certain
female composers of electronic music in New York (from Columbia)
were left behind as the Republican-supported white males' careers
advanced with grants and jobs. Years later we are able to see that
the pattern and practice of discrimination in the profession of
computer music was part of a larger Republican design to fill
academia with its own people.



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