URLs du Jour

2021-07-09

  • TGIF. I was charmed by BBC Music's rendition of God Only Knows. Here you go:

    Because nothing says "BBC Music" like a 55-year-old American song, amirite?

    (Added: although, come to think of it, "BBC" could stand for "Beach Boys Connoisseur".)

    I think people will still be listening to this song (and others from those few decades of music) hundreds of years from now, long after (say) BTS is forgotten..


  • When They Say They Are Questioning "the Very Foundations of the Liberal Order", Believe Them. Arnold Kling quotes One definition of CRT from CRT advocates Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic:

    The critical race theory (CRT) movement is a collection of activists and scholars interested in studying and transforming the relationship among race, racism, and power. The movement considers many of the same issues that conventional civil rights and ethnic studies discourses take up, but places them in a broader perspective that includes economics, history, context, group- and self-interest, and even feelings and the unconscious. Unlike traditional civil rights, which embraces incrementalism and step-by-step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.

    Yeah, that's not good. Arnold goes on to describe his experience talking to an audience of "mostly high school educators". His observation:

    I came away from my close encounter with teachers marinated in CRT thinking that there is no stopping them. They have their excuses ready when CRT is criticized. They claim that their critics are right-wingers out to distort CRT and suppress discussions of race.

    It is folly to assume you can rationally discuss CRT with people who (see above) question "Enlightenment rationalism". They will not play by those rules. Instead (as a commenter here observes), they're playing Political Calvinball. Where the balls are their students.


  • Higher Ed Racketeers. The WSJ has a story that may either infuriate or amuse you, depending on your mood. ‘Financially Hobbled for Life’: The Elite Master’s Degrees That Don’t Pay Off

    Recent film program graduates of Columbia University who took out federal student loans had a median debt of $181,000.

    Yet two years after earning their master’s degrees, half of the borrowers were making less than $30,000 a year.

    The Columbia program offers the most extreme example of how elite universities in recent years have awarded thousands of master’s degrees that don’t provide graduates enough early career earnings to begin paying down their federal student loans, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Education Department data.

    Pictured in the article is Zack Morrison, Columbia University MFA film graduate, with a loan balance of "nearly $300,000", currently "earning between $30,000 and $50,000 a year".

    "Education" is sacrosanct, of course, but just about any other business that ripped off its customers like this would find itself in hot legal trouble.

    And if you're amused, just reflect on the possibility that Zack et al will get "relief" from Uncle Stupid, and thereby the American taxpayer.


  • Be Nice To Totalitarian Thugs Or We're All Gonna Die. A Politico story shows the left's priorities: Biden’s new Cold War with China will result in climate collapse, progressives warn.

    As a new Cold War takes shape between the U.S. and China, progressives fear the result will be a dramatically warming planet.

    Over 40 progressive groups sent a letter to President Joe Biden and lawmakers on Wednesday urging them to prioritize cooperation with China on climate change and curb its confrontational approach over issues like Beijing’s crackdown on Hong Kong and forced detention of Uyghur Muslims.

    It's the latest salvo in the months-long drama between progressive Democrats who say cooperation on climate change should take precedence over competition with China, and moderates who think the administration can do both things at once. As the Biden administration solidifies its China strategy, and as anti-China legislation moves through Congress, this intra-Democratic tussle could define the U.S.-China relationship for years to come.

    Among the groups signing the letter: MoveOn, CODEPINK, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. (Motto: "But we're not concerned about everything.")


  • Didymos Moonlet in the Corner Pocket. NASA has kind of a cool/wacky plan for a probe to be launched later this year, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission.

    DART is a planetary defense-driven test of technologies for preventing an impact of Earth by a hazardous asteroid. DART will be the first demonstration of the kinetic impactor technique to change the motion of an asteroid in space. The DART mission is in Phase C, led by APL and managed under NASA’s Solar System Exploration Program at Marshall Space Flight Center for NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office and the Science Mission Directorate’s Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. 

    Yes, friends, NASA has a "Planetary Defense Coordination Office". Working on a project to see if momentum is conserved in the asteroid belt. (I predict it will be.)

    I don't care, it's still pretty cool.


Last Modified 2021-07-09 11:10 AM EST