Posts Tagged ‘don't tell me the odds’
* I’ve said this before: let’s have an academic decathlon. You choose a team based on whatever pedagogical criteria you want. You can choose students from public school or private, unionized teachers or not, parochial or secular, from charter or magnet, from Montessori or KIPP or whatever else you want. However, I choose the demographics of the students on your team. For my team, the situation is reversed: you choose the pedagogical factors for my students, but I choose the demographics. You stock your team kids from whatever educational backgrounds you think work, and mine with whatever educational systems you think don’t work. Meanwhile, I give you all children from the poverty-stricken, crime-ridden inner city and impoverished rural districts where we see the most failure. I stock mine with upper-class children of privilege. I would bet the house on my team, and I bet if you’re being honest, you would too. Yet to accept that is to deny the basic assumption of the education reform movement, which is that student outcomes are a direct result of teacher quality.
* If you are a low-income prospective college student hoping a degree will help you move up in the world, you probably should not attend a moderately selective four-year research institution. The cards are stacked against you.
Who among us can forget Malia’s first words to a rapidly-growing crowd in this historical meeting between present and future, “People of 2009, we come from–” words that were immediately interrupted by her younger self, surrounded by Secret Service, saying, “It’s 2013,” which led future Malia to punch future Sasha, saying, “I told you not to mess with the controls.” Malia then continued, “2013, seriously? What’s the friggin’ point?”
* Academic jobs watch: Specialist Professor, Homeland Security.
* California isn’t a state in which liberals have run wild; it’s a state where a liberal majority has been effectively hamstrung by a fanatical conservative minority that, thanks to supermajority rules, has been able to block effective policy-making. Krugman is optimistic that the Republicans’ stranglehold on the state seems to be abating; I’d note that in the arena of public education at least all the worst ideas are coming from the Democrats.
* That’s because these workers represent what’s happening to U.S. work in three critical ways. First, precarity: Workers lack job security, formal contracts, or guaranteed hours. Second, legal exclusion: Labeled as “independent contractors,” “domestic workers” or otherwise, they’re thrust beyond the reach of this country’s creaky, craven labor laws. And third, the mystification of employment: While a no-name contracted company signs your paycheck, your conditions are set by a major corporation with far away headquarters and legal impunity. Guest Workers as Bellweather.
* But if Emanuel brought Byrd-Bennett in to work the same kind of charter magic in Chicago that she did in Detroit, he may be dismayed to encounter one important difference: Chicago is now in a good position to fight back. The school closings hearings were packed with engaged, motivated citizens, and the teachers union is more organized than it’s been in three decades. During its popular and successful strike, the union’s approval rating climbed while the mayor’s fell—public opinion polls showed that taxpayers blamed Emanuel for the ugliness that took place during negotiations. The CTU’s current leadership has built relationships with community leaders and organizations, forming a coalition to fight the slash-and-burn privatization pushed by the Board of Education and its corporate sponsors, and has even hosted civil disobedience trainings open to the public. This afternoon’s protest will serve as further evidence that Emanuel is indeed up against a new opponent, one strong enough that not even the best “cleaner” may be able to defeat it.
* Nate Silver makes your Final Four book: Louisville Favored in Final Four, but Wichita State Could Become Unlikeliest Champion.
* Zero Dark Thirty is supposedly a film about freedom. A “freedom so threatening that there are those around the world willing to kill themselves and others to prevent us from enjoying it,” as the TV sound-bite in the background puts it. The odd thing is that this freedom is never once glimpsed within the film itself. Obviously, we are constantly reminded of the imprisonment and torture of the al Qaeda suspects, but it is never their freedom we are meant to be concerned with. More tellingly, it is the American spaces within the film that leave this freedom unseen. A strange becoming-prisoner takes hold of the spaces, and of the American body itself: not unfolding, in the end, either defeat or victory, but pulling together in a constricted space the impossibility of both.
There is no established protocol whatsoever for the titles, status or prerogatives of a retired Pope.
The prophecy of the popes. Another pope betting site. The political science of papal elections. And then about a dozen posts from Andrew Sullivan: Benedict’s Radical End. Why Now? What Now For Benedict? Who Would Benedict Pick? A Black Pope? Resignation And The Papacy.
“It is not good for a Pope to live 20 years. It is anomaly and bears no good fruit; he becomes a god, has no one to contradict him, does not know facts, does cruel things without meaning it.”
* The Portal 2s that could have been. I do, I happily admit, want to play all of these.
* Drop everything! My brilliant friend and colleague Melody Jue is now blogging at Philosophy of Water.
* At right is your photo of the day: An aurora over Faskrudsfjordur, Iceland.
* Joss Whedon explains how to write a sequel.
* “I have not heard of another hug”: Janet Bell, Derrick Bell’s widow, speaks out.
* Pat Robertson gets one right: he says we ought to legalize it.
* The Seuss book no one’s bought us (yet): The Seven Lady Godivas: The True Facts Concerning History’s Barest Family.
* Jacob Burak crunches the odds on Russian Roulette. But he’s completely failed to account for the quantum immortality factor.
* Science quantifies the Tina Fey effect.
“When all other variables in the model are held at their mean, those who watched the SNL clip had a 45.4 percent probability of saying that Palin’s nomination made them less likely to vote for McCain,” they write. “This same probability drops to 34 percent among those who saw coverage of the debate through other media. Exposure to the clip had no significant effect on the likelihood of voting for Obama.”
* When Terry Kneiss wins a Showcase Showdown, son, he wins it.
* For more than two years, Adrian Schoolcraft secretly recorded every roll call at the 81st Precinct in Brooklyn and captured his superiors urging police officers to do two things in order to manipulate the “stats” that the department is under pressure to produce: Officers were told to arrest people who were doing little more than standing on the street, but they were also encouraged to disregard actual victims of serious crimes who wanted to file reports. I’m shocked, shocked! Followup to this This American Life story.
* The headline reads, “Breakthrough Alzheimer’s treatment stops brain damage in mice.”
* And TPM has today’s sci-fi architecture porn.
The “climate dice” describing the chance of an unusually warm or cool season, relative to the climatology of 1951-1980, have progressively become more “loaded” during the past 30 years, coincident with increased global warming. The most dramatic and important change of the climate dice is the appearance of a new category of extreme climate outliers. These extremes were practically absent in the period of climatology, covering much less than 1% of Earth’s surface. Now summertime extremely hot outliers, more than three standard deviations (σ) warmer than climatology, typically cover about 10% of the land area. Thus there is no need to equivocate about the summer heat waves in Texas in 2011 and Moscow in 2010, which exceeded 3σ – it is nearly certain that they would not have occurred in the absence of global warming. If global warming is not slowed from its current pace, by midcentury 3σ events will be the new norm and 5σ events will be common. Via MetaFilter, which also has this: “All I know is this didn’t happen when we were kids.” And relatedly: White House Could Cast Decisive Vote to Permit 20,000 Fracking Wells in Delaware River Basin.
* So many amazing things happened today, from the simultaneous implosion of both the Perry and Cain campaigns to Occupy Cal and Occupy Harvard to riots at Penn State in support of Joe Paterno (of all people). And I can’t give proper attention to any of these amazing things because I spent 6 hours hanging out with John Hodgman on behalf of the Regulator Bookshop. Here’s a nice interview with the man himself from Independent Weekly‘s Zack Smith.
* Not to pile on poor Rick Perry, but abolishing the Department of Energy doesn’t make sense even on his own terms.
* Needing a weatherman to know which way the wind blows: Young adults agree that college is becoming increasingly unaffordable in today’s economy even as it is becoming more important, according to a recent poll released on Wednesday by Demos and Young Invincibles, two research and advocacy groups.
* For people looking to transition #Occupy back into traditional electoral politics—and for people who want to make sure that doesn’t happen—Occupy Des Moines is going to be pretty important.
* Some podcasts from the ASA, including my advisor Priscilla Wald’s presidential address on Henrietta Lacks.
* Howard is one of the chief architects of the “Cleveland Model” — an effort to create good jobs in depressed urban neighborhoods by fostering for-profit cooperatives founded on a principle of environmental sustainability. The neighborhoods targeted by Howard’s Evergreen Cooperative Initiative suffer from 40 percent unemployment, but he suggests tossing out any preconceptions one might have about whether or not desperately poor people care about the environment. Howard recounts one cooperative worker telling him, “I thought I’d have to move to Portland to become part of the green revolution, and now I can say that we lead the way in Cleveland.”
* And some breaking news via Bitter Laughter: The odds that you’d exist at all are practically zero. So enjoy it! A wise man once said, it ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive.
I was going to follow up that Kal Penn post with a more substantive post, but I decided to take a nap instead. Advantage: Canavan!
Ireland’s biggest bookmaker Paddy Power said Thursday it would pay out early more than 1 million euros (782,776) on bets that Barack Obama will be the next U.S. president, three weeks ahead of the election.
The Dublin-based bookmaker said it made the “unprecedented decision” to pay on bets taken so far, following Wednesday’s final campaign debate between Obama and his Republican rival John McCain, which polls judged the Democrat to have won.
“We declare this race well and truly over and congratulate all those who backed Obama,” Power said.
On behalf of the Obama Nation, I accept.