URLs du Jour

2017-02-14

Our Proverb du Jour is 29:12:

If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked.

I have to say, this was remarkably prescient.

  • Arnold Kling reveals at last: "What I Believe About Education". An even dozen, numbered. Here are the first three:

    1. The U.S. leads the world in health care spending per person, but not in health care outcomes. Many people look at that and say that health care costs too much in the U.S., and we should be able to get the same our [sic] better outcomes by sending less. Maybe that is correct, maybe not. That is not the point here. But–
    2. the U.S. leads the world in K-12 education spending per student, but not in student outcomes. Yet nobody, says that education costs too much and that we should spend less. Except–
    3. me. I believe that we spend way too much on K-12 education.

    A good thing to remember when talking about either topic.

  • Online Wired goes back to being awful: "Diehard Coders Just Rescued NASA’s Earth Science Data" Yay, diehard coders!

    On Saturday morning, he white stone buildings on UC Berkeley’s campus radiated with unfiltered sunshine. The sky was blue, the campanile was chiming. But instead of enjoying the beautiful day, 200 adults had willingly sardined themselves into a fluorescent-lit room in the bowels of Doe Library to rescue federal climate data.

    Like similar groups across the country—in more than 20 cities—they believe that the Trump administration might want to disappear this data down a memory hole. So these hackers, scientists, and students are collecting it to save outside government servers.

    Alternative title: "Easily-alarmed Publicity-seeking Geeks Imagine Threats Where None Exist."

    But seriously, would you trust research data that had passed through the hands of people with such an obvious political agenda?

  • And a twofer. Wired complains about "The Unbearable Tameness of This Year’s Grammys".

    EVERY YEAR, THE Recording Academy tries to make #GrammyMoments a thing. The hashtag never catches on, but there’s usually at least something that qualifies as one of those moments. Maybe it’s a Kendrick Lamar performance, maybe it’s a Taylor Swift dig at Kanye West. That was before the 2016 election, though, and all of its ensuing controversy; as last night’s awards ceremony grew nearer, it seemed the Academy would finally get its wish. Yet, despite occurring during the Trump administration’s tempestuous first 100 days—and in a room filled with people who had not only backed Hillary Clinton, but campaigned actively on her behalf—the night’s biggest shock was that, in a room full of outspoken artists, hardly anyone said a thing.

    Not that the ceremony was free of Trump-bashing, mind you. It was notable, and unavoidably reported upon.

    But it wasn't enough for Wired tastes. Alternative title: "Grammys Don't Go As Far As Wired in Making Everything About Politics". (Also left as a comment at their site.)

  • I think it's fair to say that longtime tech site Slashdot tilts a bit toward the left. Until, of course, it affects their audience in the pocketbook: "H-1Bs Reduced Computer Programmer Employment By Up To 11%, Study Finds".

    Immigration "reformers" tend to get a little itchy when and if their own jobs are threatened.