Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Tuesday Morning!

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* The kids aren’t all right: on being 29 in 2013.

* Remaking the University: What’s bad for students has been good for Wall Street.  The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that “Student-Loan Securities Stay Hot” even as student default rates climb.  “Demand for the riskiest bunch” of student-loan backed securities sold last week by SLM Corp, formerly known as Sallie Mae, “was 15 times greater than the supply.”  The riskiest securities have the highest yields, but investors don’t have to care, given the special impossibility of defaulting or erasing student loan debt.  Meanwhile, the New York Fed reports that 90-day delinquency rates have risen from 24 to 31 percent since 2008, and that student debt nearly tripled in the last eight years.  When the Fed breaks out the numbers for Intern Nation–graduates of the past eight years–they found that “the delinquency rate jumped to 35% last quarter from 26% in 2008.” Student Debt Is Perfectly Following the Financial Meltdown Script. Whose fault is the big student loan bubble?

But I am fascinated by the contrasting rhetoric between the rapid-boil fervor over MOOCs and the barely simmering apathy for open-access policies, especially at the institutional level.

The implicit assumption of any peer grading arrangement is that students with minimal direction can do what humanities professors get paid to do and I think that’s the fatal flaw of these arrangements.

* Spider Robinson, rape culture apologist. Well.

* TNR rockets back to the top of the worst-things-ever-published sweepstakes.

But there’s a group that should be equally irate about “We Saw Your Boobs”: admirers of bare breasts. Because MacFarlane’s is exactly the type of frat-boy behavior that leads so many American women to keep their breasts hidden from public view for fear of just such humiliation.

FINALLY, SOMEONE SAID IT.

* Male and female authors reviewed, book reviewers, and bylines at major magazines.

* And the groovy socialist world of 1970s Soviet futurism.

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