Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘bullshit jobs

Sunday Links

leave a comment »

map* Maps that will change the way you see the world.

* Report Suggests Nearly Half of U.S. Jobs Are Vulnerable to Computerization.

Free Time: The Forgotten American Dream.

* Ideology at its purest: State bans rehab of orphaned wildlife.

* Devaji Tofa, community leader from Mendha Lekha, told Down To Earth that the traditions of the Gond tribal community to which the villagers belong, do not see land as property or something to be owned by individuals. “It is seen as a community resource.” The modern concept of private ownership has done a lot of damage to communities, said he. “With private ownership, people tend to get selfish and isolated.”

* Judge Throws Out Officers’ Convictions in Killings After Hurricane Katrina.

The Arctic is on course for an ice-free summer within the next few decades, as scientists on Friday declared that sea ice in the region had fallen to one of the lowest annual minimums on record.

* Corey Robin: “Voldemort Comes to CUNY.”

So that’s where we stand. The delicate flowers of academic freedom at CUNY wilt before the jeers and jibes of a few students but warm to the blazing sun of the state. A four-star general who led two brutal counterinsurgency campaigns in Eurasia, a former head of the CIA whose hazing rituals at West Point alone probably outstrip anything the NYPD did to these students, requires the fulsome support of chancellors, senates, and deans. But six students of color beaten by cops, locked up in prison for a day, and now facing a full array of charges from the state, deserve nothing but the cold silence of their university. So much tender solicitude for a man so wealthy and powerful that he can afford to teach two courses at CUNY for a dollar; so little for these students, whose education is the university’s true and only charge.

* Just a tiny sample of the radical incoherence the right gets away with. These statements are days apart.

* And A Philosophy of Tickling.

Friday! Night! Links!

with one comment

Obama’s new education policy neatly showcases the spectrum of choice we now have in our political system: to be ground down a bit at a time by technocrats who either won’t admit to or do not understand the ultimate consequences of the policy infrastructures they so busily construct or to be demolished by fundamentalists who want to dissolve the modern nation-state into a panoptic enforcer of their privileged morality, a massive security and military colossus and an enfeebled social actor that occasionally says nice things about how it would be nice if no one died from tainted food and everyone had a chance to get an education but hey, that’s why you have lawyers and businesses.

These 11 Colleges Just Hit The Jackpot In Obama’s New Education Plan.

To take a plan that is not working in K-12 and apply it to 12-16 is asinine.

* One weird trick to lose 15 pounds in 15 minutes.

In May, Duke University announced plans to adopt one of the most extreme college sexual assault policies in history, changing the recommended sanction for perpetrators from suspension to expulsion. That means that whenever a student is found guilty of committing a sexual assault, expulsion is the first punishment the Duke disciplinary committee will consider.

UConn Considering Ban On Student-Faculty Sexual Relationships. Again: Considering?

* Towards a new understanding of the Amish: Amish Hackers.

A Long List of What We Know Thanks to Private Manning.

* The tax subsidy to religion is about 83 billion dollars a year.

* Joss Whedon attacks both Twilight and Empire. He doesn’t care who he hurts.

Earnings and Job Satisfaction of Humanities Majors.

N.F.L. Pressure Said to Lead ESPN to Quit Film Project.

* Prince George enters the Veldt.

* What went wrong on Enterprise? The cast and crew fess up.

* And Fukushima continues to be a nightmare. That things were as bad as they were in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake is one thing — but it’s been years and the news only gets worse.

Obama’s Bad Idea Soup

leave a comment »

Lots of reactions to Obama’s terrible higher-ed plan in the world today, including my various rants and back-and-forths from Twitter yesterday afternoon.

* Chris Newfield: The Core Problems with ObamaEd.

Since no one wants big tuition hikes, the only way to increase the graduation rate is to make a major public reinvestment, starting with poor colleges with bad rates.  But President Obama didn’t call for major restoration or rebuilding of state investment in public colleges, and there is only one minor tool in his auditing kit that would encourage it.  His charge that colleges just raise fees and pass on the costs to the taxpayer smacked of Ronald Reagan’s waste, fraud, and abuse paradigm for public services.  This can only damage the future case for the new public revenues the sector obviously needs.

* Here’s How Colleges Are Going To Game Obama’s New Plan To Make Higher Education More Affordable. The trouble with college rankings.

* Disappointed, Not Surprised.

Bady said that was the most troubling part of the plan.

Obama “is putting all his chips in the MOOC basket,” he said. “No part of the plan is grounded in the reality-based community; it’s all buzzwords and fantasies that some future technology will magically lower costs. But none of these projects have really advanced beyond the ‘maybe someday it’ll lower costs’ stage; right now, it’s all speculation.”

The president’s reference to “offering colleges regulatory flexibility to innovate” is worrisome, he added, in that Obama may intend to extend online and MOOC programs a special exception from having to prove or demonstrate their value with actual results, “forcing colleges to defund tried and tested programs in favor of flavor-of-the-month Silicon Valley start-up partnerships.”

* And while we’re on the subject! On the phenomenon of bullshit (academic) jobs.

David Graeber, ‘On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs’

with one comment

But rather than allowing a massive reduction of working hours to free the world’s population to pursue their own projects, pleasures, visions, and ideas, we have seen the ballooning of not even so much of the “service” sector as of the administrative sector, up to and including the creation of whole new industries like financial services or telemarketing, or the unprecedented expansion of sectors like corporate law, academic and health administration, human resources, and public relations. And these numbers do not even reflect on all of the people whose job it is to provide administrative, technical, or security support for these industries, or for that matter the whole host of ancillary industries (dog-washers, all-night pizza deliverymen) that only exist because everyone else is spending so much of their time working in all the other ones.

These are what I propose to call “bullshit jobs.”

…in Strike! Magazine.

How can one even begin to speak of dignity in labour when one secretly feels one’s job should not exist? How can it not create a sense of deep rage and resentment. Yet it is the peculiar genius of our society that its rulers have figured out a way … to ensure that rage is directly precisely against those who actually do get to do meaningful work. For instance: in our society, there seems to be a general rule that, the more obviously one’s work benefits other people, the less one is likely to be paid for it. Again, an objective measure is hard to find, but one easy way to get a sense is to ask: what would happen were this entire class of people to simply disappear? Say what you like about nurses, garbage collectors, or mechanics, it’s obvious that were they to vanish in a puff of smoke, the results would be immediate and catastrophic. A would without teachers or dock-workers would soon be in trouble, and even one without science fiction writers or ska musicians would clearly be a lesser place. It’s not entirely clear how humanity would suffer were all private equity CEOs, lobbyists, PR researchers, actuaries, telemarketers, bailiffs or legal consultants to similarly vanish…

Written by gerrycanavan

August 9, 2013 at 1:00 pm