Category Archives: Education and Universities

Get your course credit here, no effort required

Via Captain Capitalism,* A Reader discovers how low universities have descended:

You will spend a lot of time on the Internet for this course, studying blogs, commenting on them, producing your own. We will also examine a number of print genres that might be considered precursors to blogs, including newspaper columns, diaries, journals, essays, pamphlets, miscellanies, and war reporting.  — ENGL 488B – Spring 2012 | English Department, University of Maryland.

How much do these kids pay to browse the web and blog? (These kids? Ha! The taxpayer will be on the hook for their student loans.) Perhaps this course should have a module on bussing tables and mopping floors, because that’s the job this education is preparing them for. But these kids will end up in the Occupy movement, complaining about the “system.”

Hey, geniuses, A Reader was repairing small electronics and appliances by 15; that’s called a trade, and it pays bills. A Reader got an engineering degree and went to work even before graduation, because that’s what people who know how to do things that create value in a productive economy do. And when A Reader decided to start blogging, it took 10 minutes to learn the basics of WordPress and set up everything necessary.

Learn something useful that can’t be picked up in ten minutes by a moderately smart kid (like A Reader’s colleagues’ children), or save yourself the money and start your MickeyD’s or Starbucks career today.

We will read around in new media studies (e.g., Jaron Lanier, Clay Shirky, Cass Sunstein) to help get a handle on where blogs fit into the mediascape of Web 2.0.

Yes, all those people blogging first had to read  Jaron Lanier (Who?), Clay Shirky (he’s ok, I guess), and commie centralist Cass “dogs should have the same rights as humans, but humans shouldn’t have any freedoms that I disagree with” Sunstein.

(* Captain Capitalism may be an economist, but  he’s not an idiot like the typical economist. Get his book to enjoy the decline. Another good economist to follow, despite being a finance guy and therefore parasitical on the productive system, is Peter Schiff.)

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Women in Science and Science Fiction

A Reader likes Charles Stross’ cyberpunk books, but his blog borders on idiotic (he’s a Scots nationalist and a socialist; apparently he never noticed what joining socialism and nationalism means).  Now the blog has jumped the shark, as Stross is on vacation and two women are blogging there. Behold their logic:

Both male and female scientists are more likely to hire a male than a female. “Analyses indicated that the female student was less likely to be hired because she was viewed as less competent” — although the study design had presented candidates with identical qualifications. —Off the Map: Women in Science and Science Fiction.

The post suggests that this is due to discrimination against women, but A Reader things that there are much more likely reasons:

  1. Given a male and a female with similar academic qualifications, anyone familiar with the admissions policy and grading in college will figure out that the male had to work much harder for his qualifications. Women get priority admission, get nerds to help with course work, and if they don’t like the grade can always raise the threat of a sexual discrimination complaint against the teachers.
  2. Men don’t feel entitled to act like complete a-holes for a week out of every month, don’t get pregnant in the middle of the grant period, and don’t break down in tears at the first sign of criticism. Generally men also have a lot less downtime from various ailments, are less likely to be on psychoactive medications or require professional psychological assistance, or break down under pressure. Biology makes no apology.
  3. Men can be fired for incompetence without much fuss. Man can be threatened with dismissal if they aren’t pulling their weight. Neither can be done to women, unless the lab director is willing to spend his or her time explaining himself or herself to a number of committees and working groups, many of which without any semblance of due process. In the limit, a simple accusation of sexism over social media will live forever on the internet, so a future employer for the lab director will always see it and wonder.

A Reader also notices that when men who work in the sciences and engineering, or are fans of science fiction, get together and talk or write about science, engineering, or science fiction, they talk or write about science, engineering, or science fiction. When women who work in the sciences and engineering, or are fans of science fiction, get together and talk or write about science, engineering, or science fiction, they talk or write about the issues of women in science, women in engineering, or women in science fiction.

To think that I used to dream of going to MIT

Dalrock, via Foseti, shows how the bullshit social “sciences” are destroying the reputation of good schools:

While I’m not a professor of economics from MIT, I do have a real degree in economics and an honorary PhD in red pill pharmacy.  Putting those two together allows me to explain what so frightens the good professor and the journalists quoting him.  To start with, they very much should be frightened by the shrinking wage gap, but not because men are ignoring market signals or are somehow unfit for the modern economy.  In fact, the problem is that men are slowly but surely starting to respond to market signals stemming from our radical overhaul of the family structure in recent decades. — Why aren’t men responding to economic signals?

So, the big MIT professor gets the story exactly wrong. That’s par for economists, more so for academics, but still, it’s frigging Em – Eye – Tee, ferchrissake!

A Reader, whose Alma Mater continued accreditation is always in danger, used to respect schools like Caltech, MIT, Columbia, Stanford, Carnegie-Mellon, Berkeley, but it’s obvious that their reputation for being centers of thought cannot survive the rise of political correctness and the corruption in all the fields outside of hard sciences and engineering.

Alumni Magazine Fun

A Reader’s Alma Mater, a center of leftist indoctrination with a side of graduate student exploitation (a/k/a the people who teach the undergraduates and go into life-long debt paying for the privilege), prints and mails to every former undergraduate a quarterly glossy magazine.

Like every alumni magazine, ours begins with a letter from the President, asking us to “donate, donate, donate.” Sorry, that was the translation. What is says is “engage with the school, invest in future, contribute to the community.”

Oh, yes! A Reader wants to contribute to the seven-digit pay of sports coaches while exercise facilities for non-athlete students are open ever shorter hours and amateur sports are cancelled to fit Title IX.

A Reader wants to invest in the brand new building for Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Business Practices while the hoods in the century-old chemistry labs don’t work – what’s the harm of a few toxic fumes, after all?

A Reader wants to engage with the diversicrats that hound the Engineering School about its lack of women and non-asian minorities – as if that didn’t happen in every college from U. of Phoenix to Columbia.

Online education can’t exterminate this system fast enough. Then only the sciences and engineering will be left, because in those you still use real labs and workshops and still need teachers who are chosen for their understanding of physical reality.

That will be a happy day.