URLs du Jour


  • Sarah Mildred Long Bridge In New Hampshire news: That bitch Sarah Long sure is stuck up.

  • Ex-Indiana Governor Mitchell Daniels (not to be confused with Daniel Mitchell) was my 2012 Presidential pick for awhile, mostly due to his outstanding list of the five books that influenced him most (by F.A. Hayek, Milton & Rose Friedman, Charles Murray, Mancur Olson, and Virginia Postrel). Alas, it was not to be.

    But Mitch did become President of something, namely Purdue University, earlier this month. And he went and wrote an interesting open letter to "the people of Purdue", but you and I can read it too. And we should.

    President Daniels outlines the criticisms of today's higher education system: it's overpriced and underperforming; administrative bloat; grade inflation; lack of accountability; instruction taking a back seat to research; much of said research being of low relevance; "diversity" is prized, except for diversity of thought; overemphasis on athletics.

    Typing as a semi-loyal employee of the University Near Here: most of those criticisms hit home. Daniels goes on to note:

    However fair or unfair these critiques, and whatever their applicability to our university, a growing literature suggests that the operating model employed by Purdue and most American universities is antiquated and soon to be displaced.

    Would it be too disloyal to say: "Couldn't happen soon enough."

  • One of the recent things that brought me to share Mitch's "antiquated and soon to be displaced" conclusion was reading Nick Gillespie's Reason interview with Salman Khan. Khan is the guy behind Khan Academy, a dizzying collection of free educational videos. Among the insights:

    Khan: College is a confusing, muddled concept. There’s a learning part, a socialization part, and a credentialing part. The students and parents appreciate the experiential, the socialization parts, but they are paying that significant amount, if you really ask them, for the credential. If you went to students graduating at Harvard and said: “Look, I’ll refund all your tuition—you get all the experiences, all the friendships, all the learning—but you can never tell anyone that you went to Harvard University.” Would they do it? I suspect most will not do it. Which tells you that they were paying for the credential. The experience was kind of gravy on top of that. The universities think that the credential is nice but the main thing they’re giving is this experience. So that’s a huge transaction—a huge part of someone’s total lifetime income—where the person buying is buying something different from what the person selling [thinks he is selling].

  • While I'm not saying this has anything to do with that …: