Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘elitism

Wednesday, Oh, Wednesday

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* There’s nothing inherently fascist in Žižek’s call for an elite cadre of benevolent dictators to rule us like kings. Why, it says so right there in black and white:

There is absolutely nothing inherently ”Fascist” in these lines – the supreme paradox of the political dynamics is that a Master is needed to pull individuals out of the quagmire of their inertia and motivate them towards self-transcending emancipatory struggle for freedom.

* Peter Frase on the perils of wonkery. And then there’s Kotsko’s take:

The NCAA’s Perfectly Fair Rules.

* Despite three generation of survivalist horror in mass media, “Sociologists have shown that people tend to behave very admirably under the pressure of a disaster; panic and anti-social behavior are fairly rare.”

* How student debt (and of course the larger economic collapse) is messing with the larger consumer economy.

“Public higher education, which educates 70 percent of students in the United States, is about to cross a historic threshold,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat and chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. “For the first time ever, students will pay a higher percentage of the operating costs… than state governments.”

But the system of federal financial aid is constructed in such a way that putting together strict “maintenance of effort” requirements — requiring states to keep funding public higher education in order to receive federal dollars — is difficult because states receive relatively little money for higher education from the federal government. As a result, previous maintenance of effort requirements have been “nibbling at the edges,” Madzelan said.

* Who is promoting Alex Jones?

The Gold Collapse Is Personally Costing Ron Paul A Fortune.

* And the headline reads, “New Hampshire Lawmaker Calls All Women ‘Vaginas.’” I mean really.

Sunday Morning

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Earlier link dumps this week: 1, 2, 3, 4.

CUNY Administration Declares War On Rebel English Department. This is stunning. Here’s just a little bit more.

Education is a political act. For over half a century, the conservative movement has waged a political war on liberal arts education. They have waged this war because they know that without the skills we are provided by a liberal arts education citizens must abdicate our power.

* Well, I certainly wasn’t going to be the one to say it.

* The FBI has successfully thwarted another bomb plot they organized and outfitted. Promotions all around!

* Old games are horrifying.

* Portraits of Sad Superheroes.

* …for the vast majority of the 500-plus students who graduate each year in Kalamazoo, a better future really does await after they collect their diplomas. The high-school degrees come with the biggest present most of them will ever receive: free college.

Yes, Going to College Is ‘Worth It’

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David Leonhardt:

Second, the returns from a degree have soared. Three decades ago, full-time workers with a bachelor’s degree made 40 percent more than those with only a high-school diploma. Last year, the gap reached 83 percent. College graduates, though hardly immune from the downturn, are also far less likely to be unemployed than non-graduates.

…The Hamilton Project, a research group in Washington, has just finished a comparison of college with other investments. It found that college tuition in recent decades has delivered an inflation-adjusted annual return of more than 15 percent. For stocks, the historical return is 7 percent. For real estate, it’s less than 1 percent.

More from Matt Yglesias, including charts like the one at right. Note too as Leonhardt does that “don’t go to college” is almost always advice for other people:

Or think about it this way: People tend to be clear-eyed about this debate in their own lives. For instance, when researchers asked low-income teenagers how much more college graduates made than non-graduates, the teenagers made excellent estimates. And in a national survey, 94 percent of parents said they expected their child to go to college.

Then there are the skeptics themselves, the professors, journalists and others who say college is overrated. They, of course, have degrees and often spend tens of thousands of dollars sending their children to expensive colleges.

I don’t doubt that the skeptics are well meaning. But, in the end, their case against college is an elitist one — for me and not for thee. And that’s rarely good advice.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Latest Hillary Ad: ‘Elitists’

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This big city elitist wonders if Hillary’s latest attack ad doesn’t strike a wrong note.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 20, 2008 at 6:02 pm

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‘How It All Ends’

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Up until now I’ve avoiding watching wonderingmind42’s climate change videos on the grounds that I didn’t really need convincing on the subject—but after they got Ze’s seal of approval yesterday I decided to finally give them a look. As is so often the case with this sort of thing, the best thing about them is also the worst thing about them: I think they provide a useful framework to try to reach out to global warming skeptics and disbelievers, which is good, but at the same time very frustrating insofar as the debate around this and other important issues continues to reduce to the problem of communicating information to people who very pointedly refuse to learn anything about anything. As such it’s hard to imagine this video having all that much of a real-world impact, though it’s been fairly popular, and has maybe even changed a few minds.

Regardless of my hopeless pessimism, however, of course Greg should be highly commended for the effort. Maybe he’ll reach those doubters yet.

Here’s How It All Ends, the risk-management approach to global warming in a nutshell.

And here’s the index of all the “expansion-pack” responses he’s made to the original video in an effort to address objections.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 12, 2007 at 2:04 pm