Posts Tagged ‘Berkeley’
* Ian Bogost on moralism and academic politics: The Opposite of Good Fortune is Bad Fortune.
* This week on Studio 360: Will Sci-Fi Save Us?
* They say there are no heroes anymore, but I’ve decided not to promote any of the truly horrible things people have been saying about Gaza. You’re welcome.
* Lazer-guided metaphors about America in 2014: FEMA Wants to House Migrant Children in Empty Big Box Stores.
* Or this one: Luxury Condo’s “Poor Door” Is Now City-Approved.
* The Globe and Mail has a powerful piece about Huntington’s disease and the right to die.
* In recent years, a handful of community colleges in that state have outsourced the recruitment and hiring of adjunct instructors – who make up the overwhelming majority of the community college teaching force – to an educational staffing company. Just last week, the faculty union at a sixth institution, Jackson College, signed a collective bargaining agreement allowing EDUStaff to take over adjunct hiring and payroll duties.
* A recent random spot check of hundreds of arraignments by the Police Reform Organizing Project showed that in many courts around the boroughs, 100% of those appearing for minor legal violations — things like taking two seats on a train or smoking in a train station — are people of color.
* The nation’s top gun-enforcement agency overwhelmingly targeted racial and ethnic minorities as it expanded its use of controversial drug sting operations, a USA TODAY investigation shows.
* Holy NDA, Batman! One of the nation’s largest government contractors requires employees seeking to report fraud to sign internal confidentiality statements barring them from speaking to anyone about their allegations, including government investigators and prosecutors, according to a complaint filed Wednesday and corporate documents obtained by The Washington Post.
* First a LEGO episode, now a Futurama crossover: The Simpsons really wants me back. It’s been fifteen years, dudes, just let me go…
* “So, what have you learned in your many years of toddler torture?” “They hate it.”
* Dan Harmon on Paul F. Tompkins’s Speakeasy, with beloved Milwaukee institutions like the Safe House and the Marquette University English Department warranting mentions. Now, for PFT to finally appear on Harmontown….
* Now, please hold all my calls: the next episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead comes out today…
Are we seriously supposed to be talking about invading THE UKRAINE now? Can’t you horrible fantasists just play Risk or something?—
Gerry Canavan (@gerrycanavan) March 01, 2014
“Breaking news tonight, another country exists. How should we invade it? Our team of deranged nihilists reports.” -American media—
Gerry Canavan (@gerrycanavan) March 01, 2014
* By allying us with its protagonist, Gravity universalizes its image of exploited female labor, sells it back to its entire audience, men and women alike. Gravity shows a contemporary ideal of femininity still more sinister than the pinup. It presents woman as an intricate machine, strapped to dozens of wires, working her ass off with the goal of appearing weightless.
* “While the entire U.S. population has increased about one-third over the last 30 years, the Federal prison population has increased at a staggering rate of 800 percent, currently totaling nearly 216,000 inmates and currently operates at a 33 percent overcapacity. One-half of those Federal prison populations are drug offenses. While some of them are truly dangerous persons, as Deputy Attorney General Cole said, many of them are first-timers, and by possession only, wound up under Federal laws, the crack cocaine laws, in the Federal system”, she said.
* The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from: Wachowskis prepping new Matrix prequel trilogy.
BREAKING: Climate change has just invaded class struggle! This could be make-it or break-it time for President NightmareOfHistory!—
Gerry Canavan (@gerrycanavan) March 01, 2014
* This won’t be the last time you hear about it, but Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction finally has a pre-order page.
* In a post-employment economy ridden with arbitrary credentialism, a résumé is often not a reflection of achievement but a document sanctioning its erasure. One is not judged on what one has accomplished, but on one’s ability to walk a path untouched by the incongruities of market forces.
* Essential for faculty with student loans: How to use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Act. See also: The Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual.
* The most insidious feature of kludgeocracy is the hidden, indirect, and frequently corrupt distribution of its costs. Those costs can be put into three categories — costs borne by individual citizens, costs borne by the government that must implement the complex policies, and costs to the character of our democracy. Kludgeocracy in America.
* In black communities and black families, like the one where I’m from, kids are chosen. Knowing that the odds are against us, kids that show promise (not always academic, but athletic, musical, etc.) at an early age carry the hopes of their families and communities. They are supposed to defy the statistics to go out and become doctors and lawyers and send for mom, dad, and grandma. I was one of those kids: never got into any real trouble, maintained good grades, somehow managed to perform well on the ACT despite my school’s terrible preparatory program, and fell into a full scholarship at my state’s flagship university despite zero knowledge of how to apply to college. I was on track, but somehow along the line something happened, and I feel as if I failed to meet my end of the bargain.
I didn’t lose my way in some extravagant fashion by being kicked out of school or falling into a drug conviction. My deviation was much more subtle. Rather than going to school to be an engineer or a pharmacist, I chose to be a sociologist.
* There is a paradox in the workings of higher education so insidious that, even while it is destroying one’s life, the victim still rejects the possibility it exists. The seemingly impossible contradiction is that even though one is well educated, hardworking, and employed at a prestigious institution the recompense granted is a salary below the national poverty level.
* This isn’t because The Walking Dead is especially complicated, or even because, compared to its contemporaries, its cast is unmanageably large. It’s simply because The Walking Dead doesn’t care — not about internal logic, not about emotional or psychological coherence, not about its own ongoing history. And not at all about consequences.
* Unleash the unschools: How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses.
* Whether intentionally or not, At Berkeley not only toes the administration’s line but faithfully brings to life the administration’s way of seeing. Students and workers are rendered (if, that is, they appear at all) as anonymous data points, the personification of tasks (e.g. mowing the lawns) and economic flows (e.g. scientific research), and occasionally inconvenient, illegible, and irrational obstructions.
* In The Real World, Revenge Porn Is Far Worse Than Making It Illegal. But the abstract principle at stake…
* Stop worrying: Hungry Animals Would Take Down a Zombie Invasion.
* And Henry Louis Gates pitches a Django Unchained / 12 Years a Slave double feature. Sounds good to me.
* Shock at Berkeley: Campus officials declare emergency following explosion around California Hall.
* What kind of society emerges when it is governed by the market-driven assumption that the only value that matters is exchange value, when the common good is denigrated to the status of a mall, and the social order is composed only of individuals free to pursue their own interests?
* Run the university like a business! Efficiency! Synergy! Dynamism!
Due to its 2010 renovation of Memorial Stadium, Cal Athletics is obligated to pay annual interest of $18.1 million until principal starts to be paid back in 2032. According to the new financial model within the report by professors from the Haas School of Business, the debt payments may rise to as high as $81.9 million in 2053.
Taxpayers fund the stadiums, antitrust law doesn’t apply to broadcast deals, the league enjoys nonprofit status, and Commissioner Roger Goodell makes $30 million a year. It’s time to stop the public giveaways to America’s richest sports league—and to the feudal lords who own its teams.
* As I work to organize adjunct faculty in Ohio and nationally, my own biggest fear is that any successes we have will erase our collective memory of our adjunct experience and desensitize us to the reality of the least advantaged of our students. If our efforts re-gild instead of reclaim the ivory tower, then we will have failed our students and ourselves. Adjuncts, Class, and Fear. Casual Labor and the Future of the Academy. Adjunct professors are the new working poor.
* Tenure nightmare: A cautionary tale for those needing a Green Card to work in the U.S.
“They start with the assumption that something is broken,” says Patricia A. McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University, which serves low-income women in the District of Columbia. “Then they take the next step of deciding what the fix is before they really understand the problem.” Skeptics say such confidence is dangerous when dealing with complex social phenomena like education.
* Scalia: activist judges caused the Holocaust. Truly a dizzying intellect.
* Despite calls from students, faculty, the LAT and the Sacramento Bee to allow greater public discussion and debate over the appointment of Janet Napolitano as President of UC, the Regents moved ahead and quickly named her to the position. In so doing, they have forfeited what little moral and ethical authority they retained as leaders of the University of California. They retain, of course, the legal power to act as they please and as they have done. But we should be clear that they have rejected the idea of a University and have declared that they see UC as simply another bureaucracy to be managed from the top.
1. A failure rate of 56-76% translates over 40 courses (roughly typical for a four year college) into an infinitesimally low graduation rate. 56% gives you 0.0000000084629%. That’s a bit low because students could take more than 40 courses to manage graduation, but it’s also a bit high because it doesn’t allow for the 17% who didn’t finish the courses.
Yudof, we have to admit, was eminently “qualified” to be UC president. His “qualifications” were what allowed him to declare a state of fiscal emergency and orchestrate the subsequent 32% tuition hike. When Yudof became UC president, in-state tuition was $7,126—now it’s $12,946 (that’s an overall increase of 81%). It was because he was “qualified” that he treated workers as obstacles to efficiency, cutting their salaries and firing them essentially at will. For Yudof, faculty had no role to play in terms of shared governance but just stood in the way—“being president of the University of California,” he famously told the New York Times, “is like being manager of a cemetery: there are many people under you, but no one is listening.” For the same reason, he saw students not as an integral part of the university community but as a threat, consolidating a police force that consistently surveilled, harassed, threatened, and arrested them, beat them with batons, and shot them with rubber bullets—and even, on one occasion, with live ammunition. He was so “qualified” he was paid more than $800,000 a year to do this.
you loved her work deporting your parents and imprisoning your friends for nonviolent drug crimes, now give it up for YOUR NEXT UC PRESIDENT—
Gerry Canavan (@gerrycanavan) July 12, 2013
What University wouldn't want the streamlined organization of the DHS combined with the administrative rationality of the state of Arizona?—
Kieran Healy (@kjhealy) July 12, 2013
Appointing Napolitano as president is basically just admitting that the UC is a military-industrial complex that also teaches students.—
Aaron Bady (@zunguzungu) July 12, 2013
How to signal "We think students are the enemy" any clearer than appointing someone whose entire job has been brutalization of Others?—
Gerry Canavan (@gerrycanavan) July 12, 2013
* For two years, claims about the cheapness of the MOOC format overcame widespread doubts about their educational and social effects. During this time, the main MOOC companies did not release specific financial projections. Now we finally have two spreadsheets, and their claims to cheapness are not confirmed.
* Death of the humanities watch, actual numbers edition: Humanities degrees were 17.1% of all degrees in 1971, 17.0 in 2010. Via Michael Bérubé. More links after the chart.
* I hereby irrevocably grant the University the absolute right and permission to use, store, host, publicly broadcast, publicly display, public[sic] perform, distribute, reproduce and digitize any Content that I upload, share or otherwise provide in connection with the Course or my use of the Platform, including the full and absolute right to use my name, voice, image or likeness (whether still, photograph or video) in connection therewith, and to edit, modify, translate or adapt any such Content. The MOOC is hungry; the MOOC must be fed.
The Steinberg legislation marks the synthesis of MOOC steps (3) and (4), in which large scale trials are being insured through a state-created artifical product market revolving around Udacity and Coursera in particular. The business problem is this: Large-scale trials must be had at any cost, or the product momentum will die, investors will have doubts, money will dry up, market penetration will fail. MOOCs have shown that lots of people will sign up for a free online course–and that a tiny proportion actually persist. If students are required to pay tuition, as with UC online, they currently don’t sign up in the first place.
Thus 2013 may not be Year of the MOOC II, in that it may reveal that MOOCs may have no large natural market of tuition-paying students. To head off this possibility, the firms have shifted focus to regulatory capture. This is what happened when Udacity was hired by San Jose State University to run 3 remedial courses. The formal signing ceremony put founder Sebastian Thrun on the same level as the governor of the state and the chancellor of the Cal State University system.
* The Chronicle surveys the professors behind the MOOCs.
* The for-profit college sector had a difficult time building a prestigious for-profit product – at least in the way that the elite private universities are prestigious. But perhaps the lines between for-profit and public higher education is about to disappear. The latest ads from the University of Phoenix do not sound markedly different than the public relations of the University of California at Berkeley. There’s a somber assessment of the competitiveness of the marketplace, a nod to the importance of market-relevant training, and a promise to provide opportunity for willing and able students, irrespective of background or academic preparation.
For higher education, MOOCs have become fantasy household robots, doing the dishes, vacuuming, listening attentively. MOOCs are going to create students with job-ready skills, cater to individual learning styles, enable collaborations between students and faculty in different countries. Maybe they’ll even alleviate poverty as students in remote regions learn skills like computer programming and engineering.
Professors, as much as some of us want to deny it, are working class. We have rituals that seem bizarre to the uninitiated. We have long periods of apprenticeship in which we pick up these rituals. We have bosses that want to make us work harder for less pay. We even have common styles of dress. Academia is our house of labor, and MOOC providers are deliberately trying to tear down the door so that they can rush in and trash the place.