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December 21, 2010
The Economist makes a convincing case that pursuing a Ph.D. is, at best, irrational. In "The Disposable Academic" (12/16/10), the author (a holder of a "largely pointless Ph.D. in theoretical ecology") concludes that:
December 21, 2010
My 200-level students last semester proposed or redesigned a university-level course for their final assignment.* They were allowed to make it in any subject, at any level. It wasn't my most tightly conceived assignment, so I wasn't sure what to expect from them. The results were understandably uneven, but revealed a great deal about what undergraduates think an undergraduate degree should be.
December 21, 2010
In response to my last blog, John commented very keenly. By the time I was finished with a rejoinder, it was as long as a post so I cut and pasted it here!I could not have imagined a better question to my remarks than yours, John, thank you for writing.
December 21, 2010
A recent post by David Roberts on Grist promises the top five stories of 2010 for "climate hawks" (Grist's new term for folks who want to see action to mitigate climate change). The selection presented is reasonable and indicative: three explicit bad-news stories and two kind-of-good-news bits about bad stuff which could have happened but didn't.
December 21, 2010
After a period of high growth between the 1993 and 1998, the Argentine economy underwent a significant slowdown that ultimately resulted in economic depression and crisis. In 2001 and 2002 the financial sector and the exchange rate system (the so-called Convertibility Regime) collapsed and Argentina’s global socio-economic situation deteriorated. In 2003 the economic activity began to recover thanks to favorable international commodity prices. Since then, growth has been strong, averaging seven percent per year and a consequent substantial public revenue increase.
December 21, 2010
Browsing RSS feeds is always an adventure, yanking me around from dystopia to utopia as I go from one link to another. Here are some of the stories from the dark side that have recently surfaced among my reading material.
December 20, 2010
Last week we had parent/teacher conferences for The Boy and The Girl. We’re lucky enough that parent/teacher conferences pretty much consist of hearing how wonderful our kids are, how well they’re doing, and how much their peers like them. It’s not stressful.That happened again, and it never gets old. TB and TG are doing great, and we’re thrilled.That said, though, I heard a couple of things that gave me pause.
December 20, 2010
When I was in college, it took me a long time to decide what to major in. I started thinking about Psychology; next considered Philosophy; and ultimately settled on Economics. Actually there were a few more disciplines along the way that I considered. When I encountered a terrific teacher, that swayed me toward a particular major and, not surprisingly, when the faculty member was the opposite, my reaction was also the opposite.
December 20, 2010
Audiobooks have changed my life. How often have we heard complaints that our students don't read enough? What if we figured out how to deliver all of the assigned readings in multiple formats - from paper to digital to audio? Why should education be exempt in an attention economy? Why do we think our students have any more time than we do?

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