Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘for-profit schools

Sunday Afternoon

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* ICYMI: Dr. Seuss Explains Assessment, Metrics, Administrative Blight, and Pretty Much Every Aspect of the Contemporary Education System.

* This is, I think, literally the first time I have ever heard of university budget cuts impacting administration. Meanwhile.

* Meanwhile meanwhile, Congress talks adjuncts and adjunctification. I’m sure they’ll come up with a good solution soon.

Tressie McMillan Cottom on race and adjunctification.

* Yo novel so staid and conventional, it’s taught at over 50 MFA programs.

* Submitted for your approval: An OCR of the MLA JIL list, 1965-2012.

* For some reason I’m seeing a ton of links to Bousquet’s “Tenured Bosses and Disposable Teachers” this weekend.

*  Bérubé’s last post on MLA 2014.

Harvard, MIT Online Courses Dropped by 95% of Registrants.

Inside a for-profit college nightmare.

* Inside the “longform backlash.”

How Student Activists at Duke Transformed a $6 Billion Endowment.

* “Income inequality” has proved a very successful framing for Democrats discussing a massive social problem, so of course the Obama White House is rolling out a much worse one.

* Pope Francis Is Drafting An Encyclical On The Environment.

cold* xkcd explains climate.

* Demographics is destiny: Latinos overwhelmingly want action on climate change.

* How nonviolent was the civil rights movement?

It’s 1968, and Esquire is interviewing James Baldwin.

* Chris Christie says no to dashboard cameras.

* The coming Common Core meltdown.

* The headline reads, “Chinese restaurant owner told to pull down two gigantic 50ft naked Buddhas from establishment’s roof.”

Highly Educated, Highly Indebted: The Lives of Today’s 27-Year-Olds, In Charts.

* America’s nuclear corps are a mess. Dr. Strangelove was a documentary.

A journey to the end of the world (of Minecraft).

* Science has finally proved that sex reverses cognitive decline in rats.

This World Map Shows The Enormity Of America’s Prison Problem.

* The New York Times has the tragic story of a man with a million dollars in his retirement account struggling to scrape by on just $31,500 a month. Truly, there but for the grace of God go we.

Bucking trend, Wisconsin union membership grows.

* Fox to strand reality show contestants on an island for an entire year.

Woody Guthrie’s daughter wants to preserve Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital.

* The “okay, fine, let’s abolish all marriages” response to marriage equality is so strange to me. I know things like this happened during the civil rights movement — and one might argue that precisely the same thing has been happening in slow-motion to public education over the last few decades — but it still seems like such a strange, uniquely twenty-first-century temper tantrum.

* Behold, the 90s! The Most Impressive Costumes from Star Trek: TNG’s First 3 Seasons.

Life as a Nonviolent Psychopath.

We Didn’t Eat the Marshmallow. The Marshmallow Ate Us.

* And Stephen Hawking wants to destroy all your silly, silly dreams.

Monday Morning Links

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InstructionsForRidingAnIntegratedBus.jpg.CROP.original-originalAn Illustrated Account of the Great Maple Syrup Heist.

The 85 richest people on the planet are as wealthy as poorest half of the world.

* Slate has a memo from MLK following the desegregation of Montgomery’s bus lines.

* The problem, Berger concluded, was that “the Cubists imagined the world transformed but not the process of transformation.” It is that larger question – the process of actually getting to another world — that takes us beyond the artist and challenges the Left as a whole to cope with what can be done in this current moment of widespread disillusionment. Art in the Age of Fatalism.

If we don’t greatly reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world, or completely eliminate them, a major city is going to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon. It’s remarkable—it’s incredible!—that a major city hasn’t been destroyed since Nagasaki. We can confront this problem or we can accept that hundreds of thousands or more will be killed.

* 14 Things We Learned from Bill Murray’s Reddit AMA. Bill Murray says he tried mightily to save Garfield.

About 100 demonstrators rallied Friday outside the Safety Building to denounce Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm for his decision not to issue charges in the death of Corey Stingley.

Dropouts with heavy debt litter for-profit college landscape in Wisconsin, new report says.

“The world does not understand the settlements,” Livni said in a Channel 2 TV news interview. “The peace negotiations are the wall stopping the wave [of international boycott pressure]. If there is a crisis [in the talks, that wave] will crash through.”

Planet Likely to Warm by 4C by 2100.

* The Myth of the Deserving Rich.

Responses to Grantland’s Trans Outing.

* Famous movie quotes recreated as pictograms.

* Book reimagines ‘Pride and Prejudice’ from a cat’s point of view.

* DC vs Lois Lane.

* Debating executive salaries at MLA.

Melville and the Language of Denial.

The president is quoted today saying some things I never excepted a president to say.

* Even cough medicine is a lie.

What if saving could be like a lottery?

Thinking about the future here and its bleak prospects is not much fun at all, so instead of too much black-minded introspection you have the pills and the dope, the morning beers, the endless scratch-off lotto cards, healing meetings up on the hill, the federally funded ritual of trading cases of food-stamp Pepsi for packs of Kentucky’s Best cigarettes and good old hard currency, tall piles of gas-station nachos, the occasional blast of meth, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, petty crime, the draw, the recreational making and surgical unmaking of teenaged mothers, and death: Life expectancies are short — the typical man here dies well over a decade earlier than does a man in Fairfax County, Va. — and they are getting shorter, women’s life expectancy having declined by nearly 1.1 percent from 1987 to 2007. If the people here weren’t 98.5 percent white, we’d call it a reservation. The National Review visits Appalachia, and somehow manages to blame welfare.

* Meanwhile: Heroin gains a deadly foothold in Vermont.

* The headline reads, “Thief drops urn containing Sigmund Freud’s ashes during break-in attempt.”

* Ultimate Slate Pitch? I Would Rather Lick a Toilet Seat Than a Cellphone.

* What’s Inside This Mystery House In North Carolina?

* Isn’t it pretty to think so? As Presently Constructed, GOP Cannot Win White House. More here. They say the Democrats can’t lose. I say give them a chance.

The Average Human Wastes 22 Years Of Their Life… Sleeping.

* Why Expanded Universes Matter.

* What could go wrong?

* I saw this movie: Starting next week, all Indianapolis-area hospitals will ban visitors with flu-like symptoms.

* Happy birthday, Buffy.

* Adjuncts exist, and the New York Times is ON IT.

During World War Two, conscientious objectors in the US and the UK were asked to volunteer for medical research. In one project in the US, young men were starved for six months to help experts decide how to treat victims of mass starvation in Europe.

* Judge Dredd now enforcing jaywalking laws in New York, apparently.

* And someone left a laptop on a park bench.

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However Many Links You Think There Are In This Post, There Are Actually More Links Than That

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9710380815_b64e98462e_b* First, they cast Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, and I said nothing.

* de Boer v. Schuman re: Hopkins. It’s not the supply, it’s the demand.

The Mundane Afrofuturist Manifesto.

Earth’s Quietest Place Will Drive You Crazy in 45 Minutes.

If I worked at Kansas University, this post might get me fired.

* Rortybomb v. the social safety net.

* Charlie Stross v. Bitcoin.

* X-tend the Allegory: What if the X-Men actually were black? Essay version. Via.

“Men’s Rights” Trolls Spammed Us With 400 Fake Rape Reports.

The Coming ‘Instant Planetary Emergency.’ It’s already here. 96 Percent Of Network Nightly News’ Coverage Of Extreme Weather Doesn’t Mention Climate Change. The year in fossil fuel disasters.

* “Unfathomable”: Why Is One Commission Trying to Close California’s Largest Public College? ACCJC Gone Wild.

San Jose State University has all but ended its experiment to offer low-cost, high-quality online education in partnership with the massive open online course provider Udacity after a year of disappointing results and growing dismay among faculty members.

Data Mining Exposes Embarrassing Problems For Massive Open Online Courses.

CSU-Pueblo revising budget downward; up to 50 jobs at risk, loss of $3.3M.

* For-Profit College Oakbridge Academy Of Arts Suddenly Shuts Down.

* “This kid was dealt a bad hand. I don’t know quite why. That’s just the way God works. Sometimes some of us are lucky and some of us are not,” the billionaire told Politicker, calling her plight “a sad situation.”

In Defense of ‘Entitlements.’

* The way we die now.

* Oh, I see, there’s your problem right there. Links continue below the graph.

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“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

* World’s first full-size Lego car can hit 20 mph, powered by insane, 256-cylinder compresed air engine.

Scott Walker signals he will sign school mascot bill.

Thieves steal risqué calendars, leave protest signs.

* DC Passes Great Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Days Bills. What’s in Them?

* France institutes a carbon tax.

Community Season 5 Feels Like An Old Friend Has Finally Come Home.

62 Percent of Restaurant Workers Don’t Wash Their Hands After Handling Raw Beef.

* Mars by night.

* Shock in Ohio: No evidence of plot to register non-citizen voters. That only proves how successful the conspiracy has been!

* Wow: Tampa Toddler Thriving After Rare 5-Organ Transplant.

* The Decline of the US Death Penalty. Still illegal to murder people in Detroit (maybe). 15 Things That We Re-Learned About the Prison Industrial Complex in 20123. Data Broker Removes Rape-Victims List After Journal Inquiry.

* The true story of the original “welfare queen.”

Calling IN: A Less Disposable Way of Holding Each Other Accountable.

* The 16 Colleges and Universities Where It’s Hardest to Get an A.

* Michael Pollan on plant intelligence.

Signs Taken as Wonders: Žižek and the Apparent Interpreter.

Marriage equality reaches New Mexico.

A vigil planned as a peaceful remembrance of a teen killed in police custody ended with tear gas and arrests Thursday night in downtown Durham.

* An oral history of the Cones of Dunshire.

* On scarcity and the Federation.

* “Characters” trailer for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

* And ion has your science fiction postage stamps.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links

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* There’s always money in the banana stand: After closing 50 schools, Chicago Public Schools has proposals for 31 new Charter Schools. This is how much your kid’s school’s budget has been cut (state-by-state averages). “The United States is one of few advanced nations where schools serving better-off children usually have more educational resources than those serving poor students.”

* Fiduciary duty: Shareholder sues IBM for spying on China, wiping $12.9B off its market cap.

* Can Science Fiction Survive in Saudi Arabia?

Incarceration rate per 100,000 Black males in South Africa under apartheid (1993) 610: 851. Incarceration rate per 100,000 African-American males in the United States under George W. Bush (2001) 611: 4,848. The Bush tag is such a redding herring there. This is a bipartisan consensus.

What crimes did prisoners commit?

Almost two-thirds of court admissions to state prison are for property and drug offenses, including drug possession (16 percent), drug sales (15 percent), burglary (9 percent), and auto theft (6 percent).

Christmas in Prison.

Then, she says, the prosecutor began rattling off names and showing photographs of people, asking about their social contacts and political opinions. Olejnik guesses he asked “at least 50 questions” in that vein, compared to the four about May Day. That’s when she shut down, refused to answer, was found in contempt of court, and was sent to SeaTac FDC.

Texas Judge Who Resigned After Allegedly Colluding With Prosecutor Now Running For Prosecutor.

* If a Drone Strike Hit an American Wedding, We’d Ground Our Fleet. How NY Times Covers Yemen Drone Strikes.

A Tale of Two Cities: America’s Bipolar Climate Future. New York City and New Bern, North Carolina both face the same projected rise in sea levels, but while one is preparing for the worst, the other is doing nothing on principle.

Scientists Turn Their Gaze Toward Tiny Threats to Great Lakes.

* Iowa Republican’s 2-year investigation finds no statistically significant evidence of voter fraud.

* There’s always money in the banana stand, part two: Highest paid college presidents.

Two House Democrats Lead Effort to Protect For-Profit Colleges, Betraying Students and Vets.

* Son of a: A New Study Suggests That People Who Don’t Drink Alcohol Are More Likely To Die Young.

The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder.

* Postscript on the Societies of Control, life insurance edition.

* I’ve been saying this for years: Online advertising has a fraud problem. Millions of ad impressions are being served to bots and non-human traffic, and ad tech companies are doing little to stop it.

The Kellers are caught up in a little-known horror of the U.S. housing bust: the zombie title. Six years in, thousands of homeowners are finding themselves legally liable for houses they didn’t know they still owned after banks decided it wasn’t worth their while to complete foreclosures on them.

* True crime: 100 cited in Wisconsin probe of illegal ginseng harvesting.

* The Walker miracle: The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that 4,420 people in Wisconsin filed initial unemployment claims during the last week of November. That is more claims than the next two highest states combined: Ohio with 2,597 and Kentucky with 1,538.

* Israel, BDS, and delegitimization. ASA Members Vote To Endorse Academic Boycott of Israel.

* The Pope: Not a Marxist!

What does it mean to be privileged? It means not having to think about any of this, ever.

Public Influence: The Immortalization of an Anonymous Death.

* And how Arthur C. Clarke responded to crackpots.

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Sunday Quick Links

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* Attention, Milwaukee-, Chicago-, and Madison-area graduate students! The Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference deadline is November 20. The theme this year is “Animacy.”

* Surviving the post-employment economy.

* What if America had just two timezones?

* The accreditors visit Hogwarts.

* Common mistakes on the academic CV.

* All possible iterations of the statement “degrees in field Z are down X% since year Y.”

Executives Collect $2 Billion Running U.S. For-Profit Colleges. Disruptive! Innovation! Immanentize the eschaton!

* Meanwhile, the federal government is poised to OK pension-looting. How can this be remotely legal? Pensions are delayed compensation. Can your employer give you a “haircut” on your monthly paycheck because they’ve decided they want the money after all?

‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’: Lou Reed and the New York School of Poetry.

* Why we cheat.

* Also really good at self-assessment: Last Year President Obama Reportedly Told His Aides That He’s ‘Really Good At Killing People.’ Some instant nostalgia for the 2012 election, Romney-side and Obama-side.

What was supposed to be a secret letter authored by all sixteen of the current Democratic female senators urging Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2016 became public this week when Sen. Kay Hagan apparently accidentally mentioned it at an EMILY’s List event.

* The demographics of the NBA. Really interesting stuff.

I just went and checked the last “lactation station” from the list. Most are locking bathrooms and/or public lounges, but this one is a locked asbestos-containing closet.

Hottest September On Record, Fastest Pacific Warming In 10,000 Years, Warmest Arctic In 120,000 Years. Probably nothing though.

* And SMBC explores the curse of immortality.

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Monday Morning Links!

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* With this the Culture / Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality fanfic, culture is hereby perfected forever. Please deposit your 3D glasses in the receptacle on your way out of the theater.

* What Iuliano found was that the reality of student loan discharge in bankruptcy was that four out of 10 people that attempted to discharge their loans were successful. Granted, a 40 percent rate is not success for the majority, but it’s not inconsequential either. More disturbingly he found that in just the one study year, 69,000 debtors would have been good candidates to receive some or full relief from their student loan debt but they never even tried to discharge the loans. In fact few ever try to discharge their student loans in bankruptcy. “99.9 percent of student loan debtors in bankruptcy never attempt to get a discharge,” says Iuliano.

* Scenes from the alternate universe that is Germany: Still, the concept of paying for education remained deeply unpopular with students and the general public, and most states that introduced fees threw them out again in short order, starting with Hesse, in 2008.

*  Ruth Bader Ginsberg agrees with me that the current Supreme Court is one of the most activist in history. Of course where we disagree is my feeling she should resign immediately in time to be replaced with a 35-year-old before Obama leaves off.

* Hans Poertner, professor of marine biology at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany, and co-author of a new study of the phenomenon, told the Guardian: “The current rate of [ocean acidification] is likely to be more than 10 times faster than it has been in any of the evolutionary crises in the earth’s history.”

* Yes, there’s a direct correlation between race and school closures in Detroit.

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* The financial industry accounts for about 8% of GDP, but about 32% of corporate profits. These excess profits are extracted from the real economy — consumers and businesses — and constitute a drag on non-financial growth.

* And New York sues Donald Trump over his fake university. Well, I suppose that’s one down…

Friday Links – 2!

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* California in/and Science Fiction, at LARoB.

* The limits of academic freedom: does it include autonomy in grading practices? What about professors’ right to just give everyone an A+?

* The Edward F. Searles Fund is “a nearly century-old endowment given to the UC Regents and used mostly for costs associated with chancellors’ and the UC president’s housing.”

As of July 2013, the value of the fund stands at $188 million, and annual earnings are estimated at $6.5 million per year. The regents typically use the interest earned on the fund, and what is left over is reinvested.

@reclaimUC cruches some numbers.

* Ripping Off Young America: The College-Loan Scandal.

STUDY: High Debt Could Be Harmful To Mental And Physical Health.

Texas A&M Chancellor Slams NCAA Amateurism Rules Amid Johnny Manziel Investigation.

Humanities! Science is not your enemy, it’s a friend who owes you money.

* And Tressie McMillan Cottom says we need to stop condescending to for-profit university students. At Slate, unfortunately. UPDATE: Cottom has a response to MacGillis here.

Why Is the U.S. Government Enforcing Debts Owed to Fraudulent For-Profits? Beauty School Edition

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The debt collectors call so often that Amarilis Madera knows them by name. For years, they have threatened to take her possessions and drain her bank account. In February, her $5,000 tax refund was seized.

“I needed that money to live,” Ms. Madera, 49, a mother of three, said recently through a translator. “I almost lost my apartment.”

Her financial burden was caused not by reckless spending, but by a decision she made more than 17 years ago and deeply regrets: enrolling at the Jon Louis School of Beauty in the Bronx.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 29, 2013 at 11:26 am

Even More Wednesday Links!

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* Humanities instrumentalism we can believe in: Why do we need the liberal arts? Because it gives us sci-fi.

If the criterion for funding areas of study must be that they add to American wealth and competitiveness, then I’d like to offer my own only half-unserious case for the liberal arts. I propose that they should survive, and thrive, because they give us science fiction, and science fiction creates jobs and makes us rich.

The summit, billed as “Organizing Resistance Against Teach for America and its Role in Privatization,” is being organized by a committee of scholars, parents, activists, and current corps members. Its mission is to challenge the organization’s centrality in the corporate-backed, market-driven, testing-oriented movement in urban education. 

* The Decline of North Carolina.

* The New Yorker profiles Desert Bus, deliberately the worst video game ever made, and the charity that has sprung up around it, Desert Bus for Hope.

* Tenure-track professors on food stamps at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.

* Gasp! For-profit education investing in Coursera.

Tourism’s real roots do not lie in pilgrimage (or even in «fair» trade), but in war. Rape and pillage were the original forms of tourism, or rather, the first tourists followed directly in the wake of war, like human vultures picking over battlefield carnage for imaginary booty—for images.

Tourism arose as a symptom of an Imperial­ism that was total—economic, political, and spiritual.

Almost every party, gender, income, education, age and income group regards Snowden as a whistle-blower rather than a traitor. The lone exception is black voters, with 43 percent calling him a traitor and 42 percent calling him a whistle-blower. 

Obama’s ‘Insider Threat Program’: A Parody of Liberal Faith in Bureaucrats. If only this program had some historical parallel we could point to to illustrate its potential dangers!

In an initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents.

The techniques are a key pillar of the Insider Threat Program, an unprecedented government-wide crackdown under which millions of federal bureaucrats and contractors must watch out for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers. Those who fail to report them could face penalties, including criminal charges.

* After the death of the desktop, the death of the laptop? I am quite fond of my iPad, but I can’t imagine relying on it alone…

Midweek Links!

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Wednesday MOOCs, Strikes, Scandals, Snubs, and Flubs

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* The fast food workers’ strike hits Milwaukee.

MOOCs and For Profit Universities: A Closer Look. Aaron’s put the extended text of his talk up at TNI: The MOOC Moment and the End of Reform.

The first thing I want to do, then, is slow us down a bit, and go through the last year with a bit more care than we’re usually able to do, to do a “close reading” of the year of the MOOC, as it were. Not only because I have the time, but because, to be blunt, MOOC’s only make sense if you don’t think about it too much, if you’re in too much of a hurry to go deeply into the subject.

U-Va. MOOC finds high attrition, high satisfaction. Georgia Tech goes full-on MOOC Masters Degree.

* Obama student loan policy overcharging student borrowers by at least 51 billion dollars.

IRS Sent Same Letter to Democrats That Fed Tea Party Row. Gasp! You mean this whole scandal isn’t?

* Adam Kotsko on the US as a party state.

The really disturbing thing is that the party duopoly renders both parties above the law. We can see this in the IRS scandal that is currently unfolding: although there are very good reasons to suspect Tea Party organizations of being less than completely upright when it comes to taxes, the formal state apparatus is likely to back down and sanction the agents who carried out those investigations, because the appearance of neutrality vis-à-vis the two parties is more important than the rule of law. Similarly, one cannot prosecute Bush-era war crimes, because that would be an illegitimately “partisan” move. Given that Clinton and Obama have both committed similar atrocities, one might have some sympathy with the inevitable Republican whining that would accompany a Bush prosecution — it genuinely wouldn’t be “fair.” But it’s when one asks why we don’t just prosecute Bush and Obama that we realize that the two parties are truly above the law — a bipartisan agreement on foreign policy trumps even the most sacred norms of international law.

Six Reasons Why Race-and-IQ Scholarship is an Intellectual and Moral Dead End, with bonus followup.

In the US, it’s common to think of sickle cell anemia, a genetic condition, as a “black disease,” and in fact statistics on prevalence bear that out — black Americans are far more likely than whites to carry the sickle cell gene. But that fact, it turns out, is a result of ethnicity and history, not race.

Sickle cell is common in some parts of Africa, and some parts of Europe, but not others. As it turns out, most American blacks have ancestral origins in areas of sickle-cell prevalence, and most American whites do not. But if the geographic distribution of Americans’ ancestors were different — if, for instance, the country had been settled by South African blacks and Sicilian whites — the incidence of sickle cell in the white population would be higher than the incidence in the black population.

Race is a form of shorthand, in other words. It’s an approximation. In some situations, for some purposes, it’s a useful approximation. If you’re trying to tell someone which of your several friends named Jim you’re referring to, specifying that you mean “the white Jim” may be helpful, and if you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck in a sickle-cell awareness media campaign, targeting black media may have merit.

But the fact remains that Nelson Mandela is at less risk of sickle cell than Al Pacino.

See also Race and IQ: That Old Canard.

* Even the Onion wouldn’t stoop this low for a bit: Soldier In Charge of Sex Assault Prevention Accused of Abuse, Pimping.

* Homeland Security goes after Bitcoin.

Media Matters humiliates itself.

* And xkcd reports on which running jokes the aliens are just finding out about.

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Friday Night Links

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Adjuncts from more than 20 Boston-area colleges announce plans to unionize. More at the Chronicle. Adjunctaction.org.

An unnamed English teacher at Albany High School who wanted to “challenge” his/her students to “formulate a persuasive argument” tasked them with writing an essay about why “Jews are evil,” as if they were trying to convince a Nazi official of their loyalty.

SN_DALEK_IN_POND_1.jpg* So you want tenure at Harvard.

* I’m afraid you’ll find the Daleks are already here.

The actual rendezvous and lassoing of an asteroid, which NASA characterizes as the “most technically challenging aspect of the mission,” could begin as soon as 2019 and result in the asteroid arriving in the vicinity of the moon in 2021.

* Actually existing media bias: Al Gore is fat edition.

* For-profit education industry attracts bottom-feeding scammer. No!

* The New Yorker remembers radical feminist Shulamith Firestone.

* And Google rolls out Google Death.

Monday

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* Today in my classroom: Freida Hughes’s poem “My Mother.” I used this at the tail end of our discussion of Sylvia Plath today and found it really useful as a way of interrogating just what it is we do as critics.

This American Life Features Error-Riddled Story On Disability And Children. Of course, it was a Planet Money piece.

Think about it: MOOAs are the perfect solution to the rising cost of higher education. We take superstar administrators and let them administer tens, maybe even hundreds, of thousands of faculty at a time. The Ivy League and Nescac colleges could pool their upper management as could, say, Midwestern state colleges that start with “I” or “O.”

If the administrators cannot compete and be effective online, then it’s time to get out of the way for the people who can. After all, no student ever thought it was worth $55,000 a year for time in a room with a particular dean or vice president, but we might be able to convince them, at least for a while longer, that the educational experience of the classroom is worth it.

Median Salaries of Higher-Education Professionals, 2012-13.

Committee tasked with creating standards for for-profit colleges folds under industry pressure.

* “It is difficult to identify a single instance where an emergency manager has succeeded in turning around the financial fortunes of a city or jurisdiction.”

* And thus began the great Georgia-Tennessee War.

The Great Melting: Polar Ice Across The Arctic And Antarctic.

* Today in dystopia: White Student Union at Towson University will conduct nighttime campus patrols. What could possibly go wrong?

5 Products That Should Fear Google’s Next Killing Spree.

The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.

* Today in fanboy supercuts: Watch all six Star Wars movies at once. It actually is sort of revealing.

There’s a dark cloud hanging over the science of climate change, quite literally. Scientists today have access to supercomputers capable of running advanced simulations of Earth’s climate hundreds of years into the future, accounting for millions of tiny variables. But even with all that equipment and training, they still can’t quite figure out how clouds work.

Matternet Founder Paola Santana Wants To Replace The Postal System With Drones.

* Out of sight, out of mind: the story of every known victim of drone bombings in Pakistan.

* The University of Maryland at College Park doesn’t have a copy of the contract it signed to join the Big 10, The Washington Post reported. The Post filed an open records request for the contract, and was told that the university didn’t have a copy. The Big 10, which is not subject to open records requests, keeps all such copies. Maryland officials said that not keeping a copy was in line with Big 10 policies, which are designed to reflect that most of its members are public universities, subject to open records requests.

A growing body of evidence shows, however, that we have grossly underestimated both the scope and the scale of animal intelligence. Can an octopus use tools? Do chimpanzees have a sense of fairness? Can birds guess what others know? Do rats feel empathy for their friends? Just a few decades ago we would have answered “no” to all such questions. Now we’re not so sure. Experiments with animals have long been handicapped by our anthropocentric attitude: We often test them in ways that work fine with humans but not so well with other species. Scientists are now finally meeting animals on their own terms instead of treating them like furry (or feathery) humans, and this shift is fundamentally reshaping our understanding. See also: Clever Hans the Math Horse.

* Presenting the invisible bike helmet.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc has sued a major grocery workers union and others who have protested at its Florida stores, the latest salvo in its legal fight to stop “disruptive” rallies in and around its stores by groups seeking better pay and working conditions.

* “Do you know that unless you’re willing to use the R rating, you can only say the ‘F’ word once? You know what I say? F*ck that. I’m done.” And it’s new to me: Jimmy Kimmel’s unnecessary censorship.

AcaMOOCia RoundMOOC

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The New Faculty Minority: Tenured professors fight to retain control as their numbers shrink.

* Behind the scenes of the NYU “no confidence” vote.

* 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.

* MOOCs have become a straight business play.

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.

Online education’s false promises.

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.

* And @zunguzngu gets smashy: It is perhaps time to reconsider the problem of machine-wrecking in the early industrial history of Britain and other countries. Related: 

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.

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

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* “We need to hire a 22-22-22,” one new-media manager was overheard saying recently, meaning a 22-year-old willing to work 22-hour days for $22,000 a year. Perhaps the middle figure is an exaggeration, but its bookends certainly aren’t. According to a 2011 Pew report, the median net worth for householders under 35 dropped by 68 percent from 1984 to 2009, to $3,662. Lest you think that’s a mere side effect of the economic downturn, for those over 65, it rose 42 percent to $170,494 (largely because of an overall gain in property values). Hence 1.2 million more 25-to-34-year-olds lived with their parents in 2011 than did four years earlier. “Willing” is certainly doing an awful lot of work in that first sentence. Welcome to the age of the permanent intern.

* The Singularity Already Happened; We Got Corporations: Capitalism as Evil AI.

“Have prisons and jails become the mass housing of our time?”

* New York Times shuts down its Green blog. In other news, every spectator sport has its own blog at NYT.

* The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has isolated twelve criteria for determining if individuals qualify as legally “hopeless.” The following pamphlet is a brainstorm: it considers what steps a debtor might take in order to persuasively claim the mantle of hopelessness. Rather than examine softcore options, we explore the potential of self-inflicted tragedy.

* Massively Open Online Test Proctoring. MOOC as “mass psychosis.”

* Shockingly, saving the world usually involves using Silicon Valley’s own services.

* Federal education spending accounts for just 3 percent of the $3.5 trillion the government spent in 2012.

pope-500x800* Algorithmic Rape Jokes in the Library of Babel. Wow.

* How a bizarre email from BachelorsDegreeOnline.com exposed the sleazy side of for-profit college recruitment.

* UCLA medical school and Herbalife.

On Argo and bullshit.

* Marvel Comics presents The Life of John Paul II.

New Study Finds ‘The Onion’ Has Never Been More Popular, More Beloved, Or More Respected.

* “On the development of companion robots in Japan.”

And Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing will close out the Wisconsin Film Festival. I’d really, really like to make this.

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