Cui Bono (HUM415)

Upon looking into the matter more closely I discovered that the reference to cui bono came not in Hall’s “After Neoliberalism” but in Zizek’s “In the Wake of the Paris Attacks, etc.”

“The greatest victims of the Paris terror attacks,” he writes, “will be refugees themselves, and the true winners, behind the platitudes in the style of je suis Paris, will be simply the partisans of total war on both sides. This is how we should really condemn the Paris killings: not just to engage in anti-terrorist solidarity but to insist on the simple cui bono (for whose benefit?) question.”

In any case, the value of this question as a method of analysis seems pretty obvious. The corollary to it– which is intended to refine our thought– is the time-honored observation that correlation does not necessarily equate to causation. We used the school uniforms and test scores example to illustrate this principle.

“Since the headmaster mandated school uniforms students’ test scores have risen 20%.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Remarkable.”

“Students are also being given test answers in advance.”

“Oh.”

We watched Mark Boulos’s All That is Solid Melts Into Air and you did your first in-class writing assignment, ICW1. I’ll have the results back to you next week.

Finally, I’ll be revising the schedule of readings and the grading rubric this week.

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