Posts Tagged ‘juking the stats’
* Dubious distinction watch: Marquette is once again one of FIRE’s top ten worst colleges for free speech.
* The “bunnies” survey from Mount St. Mary’s is apparently up at Scribd. It’s truly incredible to me that university lawyers signed off on this scheme, on the level of either theory or implementation, if indeed they did.
* What is a university, that faculty are not employees who can be fired in this way? What is a university, that students are not customers who can be dismissed when serving them is judged bad for the bottom line? What is a university, that administrators aren’t bosses to whom faculty and students have to answer? What is a university, that faculty—and their students—are the university, and not just those who work, and pay tuition, on its behalf?
* Dystopia now: Bosses Harness Big Data to Predict Which Workers Might Get Sick. Or Pregnant, But Who’s Counting.
* Elsewhere on the dystopia beat: A Hospital Paralyzed by Hackers. UC Says You Can’t Put a Price on Spying on Your Workers for No Reason. And just as the Founders intended: The FBI Is Using a 1789 Law to Force Apple to Unlock the San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone.
* Interesting stuff via @reclaimUC: Public Research Universities: Understanding the Financial Model.
* The Lovecraftian sublime: What Happens When You Zoom in Too Much on Google Maps. Elsewhere in the mathematical sublime: What different novels look like with everything removed but punctuation.
* Black and Latino Voters Sway From Clinton to Sanders. Sanders, Clinton in dead heat nationwide. But will Elbowsgate bring down Bernie? What he’s accomplished is genuinely incredible, even if I still can’t envision any scenario in which they would ever allow him to actually be the nominee.
* “Socialist snow on the streets / Socialist talk in the Maverick Bookstore / Socialist kids sucking socialist lollipops.” When Allen Ginsberg Wrote a Poem about Bernie Sanders.
* Dream job alert:UMaine announces Stephen King professorship. But I think you’ll find the post comes with… certain unusual requirements.
* And the kids are all right: Lake Superior State University has eliminated 8 AM classes.
* Teach the controversy: are students cuddly little bunnies to be drowned, or shot with Glocks? This story is actually worse than even the original reporting indicated.
* I’ve argued here before (I think) that probably the greatest thing for-profit colleges could do to scrub the designation “for-profit” of its negative connotation is to win a few sportsball championships. That’s how traditional not-for-profit colleges did it. There was a time when the idea of a residential college for wealthy young men was considered very strange (and also very effeminate). College sports “butched” up college and it also gave the millions who would never in a million years qualify for admission a fictive relationship with a system that is, by design, unequal. Sportsball and For-Profit Legitimacy.
* Chess forbidden in Islam, rules Saudi mufti, but issue not black and white. This part of the history of games I always find fascinating.
* It’s called anthroponuclear multiple worlds theory, and it’s basically my actual cosmology.
* When DoD paid Duke U $335K to investigate ESP in dogs. But more research is required.
* What if not having a beard is nonhygenic? Checkmate.
* Plastic to outweigh fish in oceans by 2050, study warns. Meanwhile, the same headline they run every January, just with all the numbers incremented by one.
* Sold in the room: Orphan Black Writer Making Time-Travel Movie For Netflix.
* The Department of Education is surprisingly frank about how impossible it is to turn Obama’s gibberish on education into a usable ratings system. And here is the tentative list of stats colleges must now juke.
* Aaron Bady interviews Sofia Samatar on steampunk, Afrofuturism, science fiction, and more. The latest in his Post45 series.
* The best list like this I’ve seen: 5 Reasons To Study The Humanities.
Uber claims Done wasn’t even the driver who was supposed to pick the woman up, and points out that he passed a background check before he started driving for them.
So did the L.A. driver charged with kidnapping and rape, the San Francisco driver charged with hitting a passenger in the head with a hammer, and another San Francisco driver accused of assault who turned out to have prior felony convictions and was on parole for a previous battery charge.
* But in statehouses across the country, Uber has fought against legislation requiring background checks as strong as those demanded of traditional taxis. Other ride-sharing companies like Lyft and Sidecar, Uber’s chief rivals, have also pushed against the laws, but supporters of stronger background checks say Uber has been by far the most aggressive.
* The very last Colbert. RIP. Today marks the exact moment this stops being a relevant reference for students, so expect to see it fade from classrooms around 2027.
* We move more earth and stone than all the world’s rivers. We are changing the chemistry of the atmosphere all life breathes. We are on pace to eat to death half of the other life currently sharing the planet with us. There is nothing on Earth untouched by man — whether it be the soot from fossil fuels darkening polar snows or the very molecules incorporated into a tree trunk. Humanity has become a global force whose exploits will be written in rock for millennia. Welcome to the Anthropocene.
High quality liberal arts on-line education is not cheap: where it has been modestly successful in providing a decent education, as at the UK’s Open University, it does not break even–far from it. Why? Open University courses are built by teams of researchers, are annually refreshed, and are intensively staffed by high-level academics. OU is an expensive tax-supported operation, designed from the beginning for workers and other students unable to leave homes or jobs to obtain a college education.
* “Julian Assange” is a bit, right? It’s got to be a bit. He wouldn’t be the first person to live for decades in an embassy.
* Why is spam so terrible? A new paper argues it’s a way of weeding out people too smart to fall for spam.
* And I must admit, I’m a little verklempt: Life in Hell has finished.
* 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.