A while ago, I penned a fairly angry response to something circulating on the internet – the 21 Habits of Happy People. It pissed me off beyond belief, that there was an inference that if you weren’t Happy, you simply weren’t doing the right things.
I’ve had depression for as long as I can…
Some decent advice - and from the internet!
I’m a Hachette author. Republic, Lost was published by them. But you might have read there’s some sort of spat between the publisher and Amazon. The result: the authors lose. (Here’s Hachette’s statement; Amazon has not said anything.)
So, e.g., Amazon reports Republic, Lost will take…
'Without libraries we have no past and no future,' said Ray Bradbury. A new book celebrates the most innovative library buildings. Take a whirlwind tour with our gallery
Photos, top to bottom: Laif/Camera Press; Frank Elschner/Artur Images; Hufton and Crow/VIEW
This is very different than a digital library. Look at all those books with first sale rights attached to them!
Feminism is having a wardrobe malfunction.
Does your brand of feminism remove barriers for women, or simply move them around? Does is expand options for women, or does it just shift them? You don’t liberate women by forcing them to choose option B instead of option A. What is comfortable for you might not be comfortable for someone else, and it’s entirely possible that what you see as oppressive, other women find comfortable or even downright liberating.
Before you think the girl in the middle is a strawman, let me tell you I used to be her, back in my misguided youth. I considered myself the standard to which other people should adhere. But that was stupid. It’s not up to me to tell people how to dress, and it’s much nicer to let everyone choose for themselves.
Some women would feel naked without a veil. Some women would find it restrictive. Some women would feel restricted by a bra. Some women would feel naked without one. Some women would feel restricted by a tight corset. Others love them. Some wear lots of clothes with a corset. Some only wear the corset and nothing else. What makes any article of clothing oppressive is someone forcing you to wear it. And it’s just as oppressive to force someone not to wear something that they want to wear.
Higher Education and the labor market
Today The Chronicle of Higher Education sent me an email with three stories (among others.) First, they report survey results indicating that alumni (i.e. the handful of students who finish) of for-profit, largely online colleges had favorable views of the teaching and scheduling, they didn’t think the cost was worth it.
They also notified me of the latest editorial by Jeff Seligno, who read last week’s report in the New York Times about the latest consumer spending breakdowns for predictions about where Higher Ed will need to go. I read those reports - which point to the fact that only very high end and very low end markets are seeing any growth, with places that used to serve the hollowed-out middle class (e.g. Red Lobster and Olive Garden) finding it hard to subsist in an environment where nearly all of the income growth of the last five years has gone to the top 1% of the population - and the rest of the country has yet to recover. Seligno, assumes that this is the new normal, absent some drastic political changes:
In the absence of the political will and the job growth that will strengthen the middle class, colleges and universities will need to adjust to that economic reality with new models that reduce their costs and, thus, prices for students.
In other words, we need more McDonalds level colleges (or at least something more along the lines of a Costco) - which makes sense when you consider that the guru of “disruptive innovation” bases some of his theory on watching people buy milkshakes at the fast food chain (here you can see him explain this theory in a lecture sponsored by the University of Phoenix).
For several years it appeared that MOOCs might fill that gap, but unfortunately actual education research and experience demonstrated that serving the so-called “low-end” of the education market actually requires more skills. On the other hand, we are also being told that, if we think about why people are going to schools like Phoenix, it has more to do with getting actual jobs. And, as the Department of Labor (echoing Seligno above) points out, few of the jobs on the near horizon require anything more than a High School education.
So it is in this light that I read the reports that Texas is planning to offer an almost completely online BA, for under $13,000. There is a lot of information on the specifics of the degree, e.g. it will be somewhat competency based, which is probably a bigger threat to traditional ed than online itself (and is made possible by legislative changes brought about to foster the other online ed project Texas is already participating in, Western Governors University.) But what is barely mentioned (and obviously only marginally important to the commodity BA they are attempting to produce) is what field the degree will be in. Buried in the piece is the following, quite vague description: “The degree emphasizes organizational leadership.” If you cross reference that with the Department of Labor predictions above, you’ll see what that means. Out of the top twenty jobs with the most growth between now and 2022 the only one that requires a BA is something called, “General and operations managers.” Or organizational leadership in a pinch.
"In the absence of the political will" this is the world we’ll soon be living in. The upside is that, according to the commission offering the degree, they will still prize all the things our traditional colleges and universities do - promising to produce "graduates with critical-thinking skills who are quantitatively literate, can evaluate knowledge sources, understand diversity, and benefit from a strong liberal-arts and sciences background.” Of course, they are promising that because that is what the few employers interested in hiring people with BAs are asking for. Meaning that the idea of “critical thinking” is really “creative problem solving” i.e. figuring out how to manage their low-income, illiterate co-workers and serve their downwardly mobile, increasingly agitated customers, with fewer resources and less promise of advancement.
It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday honoring the great civil rights movement leader. It’s a day for many of us to reflect on the legacy of a man who was more radical, flawed, brilliant, complex, and human than our media cares to remember and many of us care to admit. Or, if you’re…
Look at this zombie. Isn’t it racist and sexist? Yes, it is.
English Literature, DePaul University
See guys, it’s already been written.
I’ve been coming across various commentaries of the new scantily clad, tongue flashing and twerk-filled performances of Miley Cyrus. Many critics have claimed that Miley’s provocative behavior is inappropriate because she has so many young fans that have looked up to her since her days as…
Pretty accurate account of what Adorno & Horkheimer would saay about Miley Cyrus, from one of my students.