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October 3, 2010 - 5:49pm
Though it is difficult to demonstrate, even in the era of outcomes assessment, we all strive to provide an education that enhances integrity, civility, and compassion. For years, many of us have emphasized that increased education makes us better parents, citizens, and voters. And yet, today’s environment in the United States seems to be moving us in the opposite direction. We appear to be less enlightened and less civil. A mosque and community center near ground zero is challenged because the sins of a few radicals have been used to try and tarnish an entire faith.
October 3, 2010 - 5:05pm
In a recent New York Times Magazine article, Peggy Orenstein discusses advertisers’ discovery of “the sales potential in female pride.”She describes recent ads by Target and Verizon, among others, that seem to imply that buying certain merchandise will confer “empowerment” on girls. She points out what she refers to as “cause-related marketing without the cause. Merely buying its service is how you’re supposed to strike the blow against inequality.”
October 2, 2010 - 2:45pm
Recent statistics concerning flows of students from China and Chinese views about migration raise some interesting questions concerning the present and future of Chinese higher education—particularly at the elite levels. Record numbers of Chinese continue to study abroad—270,000 are self-funded and (only) about 25 percent are returning to China, surprising in the context of the economic problems of the West and China’s booming economy (figures come from Willy Lam of the Jamestown Foundation).
October 1, 2010 - 8:54am
How is the young man who was in the room with Mr. Clementi doing? Thankfully, for him, we don't know his name, nor am I curious. Only concerned. If Mr. Clementi felt profoundly rattled by events, one can only imagine how he feels. The media, having gotten ahold of this story, has expanded the scope and amplification of the private act between him and Mr. Clementi many orders of magnitude beyond the original publication on the Internet.
October 1, 2010 - 4:30am
Duff Brenna’s novels include The Book of Mamie, Too Cool, The Altar of the Body, The Law of Falling Bodies, and The Willow Man. Honors for his work include the AWP Best Novel Award, Favorite Book of the Year Award from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, a Pushcart Honorable Mention, Milwaukee Magazine Best Short Story of the Year Award, inclusion on the New York Times Noteworthy list, and an NEA fellowship.
September 30, 2010 - 11:15pm
Istanbul, Turkey As academics, we are expected to be doing two things on a regular basis: to read a lot and to write a lot on topics related to our profession. This expectation implies that an academic by default has to be comfortable with the idea that her time (other than teaching) will be devoted to reading and writing
September 30, 2010 - 10:45pm
Before you read this review of The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us by Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel Simons - watch this video:
September 30, 2010 - 10:22pm
I recently taught a class in “linear programming”, in which a (linear) objective function is maximized subject to several constraints that are also lines themselves. As I worked several example problems with my students, I remembered the central fact of economics, that we all face constraints in our lives and must do the best we can within those constraints. This truth was brought home to me earlier this week when I received the phone call all working parents hope to avoid.
September 30, 2010 - 10:12pm
How do people with day jobs and school-aged kids write books?
September 30, 2010 - 2:45pm
I am composing this Babel post without an internet connection, trying to put it together as I airport-hop my way to a conference. It's a curiously disorienting sensation, trying to write without reference to web content, because these posts tend to be a woven from things I've been reading and it feels as wrong to write without linking as it would be write a paper without references. But I'll give it a try and try to add the links in later, when I return to the connected world. Meanwhile, it's remarkably apt to be so disconnected as I write about the disconnected scholar.

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