Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Tuesday Afternoon!

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* PSA from Charlie Stross: Ignore the news.

Just a brief reminder that news is bad for you. No, seriously: publicly available news media in the 21st century exist solely to get eyeballs on advertisements. That is its only real purpose. The real news consists of dull but informative reports circulated by consultancies giving in-depth insight into what’s going on. The sort of stuff you find digested in the inside pages of The Economist. All else is comics. As there’s an arms race going on between advertising sales departments, the major news outlets are constantly trying to make their product more addictive. And like most other addictive substance, news is a depressant, one fine-tuned to make you keep coming back for more.

* As if you needed a reason: Tetris may treat PTSD.

* Inequality and the New York City subway.

* Why you can’t have nice things: pro-austerity economicists are liars or incompetents (take your pick).  How Much Unemployment Was Caused by Reinhart and Rogoff’s Arithmetic Mistake? It’s great that when challenged they retreat to the more defensible claim that their work is actually irrelevant, but many policymakers and pundits seem to feel otherwise.

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“What companies like is just-in-time learning that gives somebody a skill they need at the time they need it,” says Mark Allen, a Pepperdine University business professor and author of The Next Generation of Corporate Universities. “What traditional universities do to a large extent is just-in-case learning.”

B8i8G.AuSt.156* Our bubble-headed, zombie-creating reliance on high-stakes testing.

And contrary to the claims of test-makers, the tests aren’t getting better. Despite hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds, they’re getting worse.

Universities Need to Innovate, But Put Down the Sledgehammer.

The birth of critical university studies.

* The Chronicle profiles David Graeber as academic in exile.

Software to detect student plagiarism is faced with renewed criticism from the faculty members who may confront more plagiarism than do most of their colleagues – college writing professors.

* Lost Generation: The Terrifying Reality of Long-Term Unemployment.

* Is nothing sacred? NC governor takes aim at addiction on campus.

New App Prevents Icelanders from Sleeping With their Relatives.

* And your 2012 tax receipt. Enjoy those fighter jets!

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