Texas & Education (Part 1 of…?)

March 15th, 2010 1 comment

I really want to comment on what’s just happened in Texas, but I’m not sure where to start. For the moment, let me just point out a couple of webpages about the Texas schoolboard curriculum decisions:



I want to come back to this, but I’ll have to pick just a few items to deal with, given the scale of the politically-motivated wrongness of all of these decisions. The changes covered include a whole range of massive historical revisions from the merely stupid to the utterly absurd. If you read through these and want any in particular covered, leave a comment, and I’ll pick a few to research in depth.

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Auto Tune the News

March 2nd, 2010 No comments

I realize most of the people who read this website– if any of you are left– are probably familiar with auto-tune the news already. Still, in case you’re not, here’s the latest:

Given the last post, I feel I should note that the Andrew & Evan Gregory are both Swatties; Andrew hosted me for the invite-back weekend way back in 2001 when I confirmed that I had absolutely made the right choice in applying to Swarthmore Early Decision.

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Educational Elitism

March 2nd, 2010 No comments

Not an email this time, but instead a response to an article I recently read, The Disadvantages of an Elite Education. First, go read it.

Okay, done? Good.

It didn’t dawn on me that there might be a few holes in my education until I was about 35. I’d just bought a house, the pipes needed fixing, and the plumber was standing in my kitchen. There he was, a short, beefy guy with a goatee and a Red Sox cap and a thick Boston accent, and I suddenly learned that I didn’t have the slightest idea what to say to someone like him.

The author of this article is despairing over the failure of elite educational institutions to create the Ideal Citizen, instead creating the Self-Absorbed Entitled Citizen. In brief, the article itself is as out of touch as the behaviors it’s complaining about.

Read more…

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The Onion: Area Man Passionate Defender…

November 16th, 2009 No comments

Not a substantive post, but amusing, and relevant to this blog:
Area Man Passionate Defender Of What He Imagines Constitution To Be

Occasionally Jon Stewart has made the comment that it’s sad that the major media outlets are getting things wrong, and it takes a comedian to call bullshit. I’m actually not convinced by that; political humor has often been a check on politicians, and it’s not unreasonable that it should also be a check on media. Comedy is good at that.

(Hat tip to Nick for sending this along to me)

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The sequence of democracy

November 9th, 2009 2 comments

This is the latest email forward I’ve received, and they don’t get much more full of bad data and mis-attributed scholars than this. This has been covered in other places, notably at Snopes; this particular link actually points to the original 2000 version of the email. Factcheck.org also deals with the 2008 version.

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Left vs. Right

October 22nd, 2009 No comments

I haven’t posted recently due to a conference trip to California, and I don’t have much time at the moment to write, but I wanted to post this graphic:


It’s simplifying, etc. but still interesting.

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Posturing in the chamber

October 1st, 2009 1 comment

Another political custom that bugs the hell out of me:

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A Potent Senior Moment

September 30th, 2009 No comments

Here is one of the most obnoxious emails I’ve seen; apart from just being generally designed to divide people, it’s also clearly false.

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“mathandscience” destroying the humanities?

September 24th, 2009 2 comments

This is not an email post, or really a wingnut post at all.

There’s an article from the August September (2009) Harper’s, Dehumanized: When math and science rule the school, which is now, happily, available for free. I say happily, but I’m actually very unhappy with this article. Slouka seems to have a very skewed perspective of what is happening in academia, and gives the impression that us “mathandscience” folk are getting so much attention in grade school that it’s destroying the humanities.

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Protests, czars, and animal rights

September 14th, 2009 5 comments

…In which we take a look at Glenn Beck. I should note in advance that I am not listening to his program, I am reading his newsletter. It is entirely possible the man is making subtle points when considering the transcript in its entirety, or that the people who summarize the show are badly misrepresenting him. Either way, the email is misleading– and misleading emails are what we’re all about here.

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