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September 21, 2011
I recently re-read Charles Mackay's classic Extraordinary Popular Delusions. It contains perhaps the best-known account of the Dutch tulip mania of the early 17th century, but the section I found most interesting described the somewhat later "South-sea bubble" in England.
September 21, 2011
The OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2011: Innovation and Growth in Knowledge Economies report was released on 20 September.
September 21, 2011
 Periodically in the world of intercollegiate athletics, we cycle through a set of controversies, changes, and challenges that cause our many constituencies and the legions of interested fans and observers to generate remarkable noise levels. The commentary ranges from absurd to rational and from passionate to disdainful, and the rhetorical flights rise to stratospheric heights. For those of us who have lived through multiple iterations of this cycle, and others who have read the history of college sports, this all produces a sense of deja vu.
September 20, 2011
Is this desire to shed ownership of things a life cycle story, a digital story, or something else? Do you share my desire for life as a service? Has owning stuff also lost its appeal to you? 5 Things I No Longer Wish to Own:1. Software: Software as a service (SaaS) today may not always be possible or pragmatic, but SaaS is clearly the future. What enterprise or personal applications that we currently host on our servers or laptops will not eventually move to the cloud?
September 20, 2011
“I have a locker!”You forget what’s important when you’re ten.TW and I went to the parents’ open house at The Boy’s school. Now that he’s in fifth grade, he’s in a new building that unites the kids from the various elementary schools in the district. And yes, he gets a locker.
September 20, 2011
Lee Skallerup “Is it always like this?”This question came from one of the three male students in my 50+ person literature class, almost ten years ago. I was a new, young PhD student and I was teaching an introductory literature course. The class, in the four years that I had taught it, never reached double-digits for male students in the class. So, yes, I answered, it was always like this.
September 20, 2011
Brazilian education has expanded very rapidly in recent years, due mostly to private institutions, that now account for 75% of the total enrollment. Most of these institutions are for profit, and provide low cost, evening courses in the “soft” fields (management, law, accounting, education). In the last several years, the federal government has tried to increase access to public institutions, through affirmative action for students coming from public schools and black Brazilians, by creating new federal institutions and by expanding the existing ones.
September 19, 2011
Initially, I had planned on doing my best to write a balanced view of the money-making-machine known as the U.S. News & World Report College Ranking & Lists. For a prospective student, the ranking data contains information about tuition, total enrollment, acceptance rate, first-year student retention and 6-year graduation rates. I thought, well, at least there's some data that students can use even if the ranking numbers are a tad bit arbitrary and biased.
September 19, 2011
Transparency has its limits.My campus recently got into a nasty little kerfuffle over something that shouldn’t have been an issue at all. Some very smart people became uncharacteristically enraged, and had trouble even putting together a reason for it.
September 19, 2011
Rosemarie Emanuel’s piece last week on bifurcating really got me thinking. My first thought was that I was glad that I have long ago shed any guilt about not volunteering in my kids’ schools, and my second was a brief nagging sense that maybe now that my son’s in a new school I should try making an effort again.

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