Bureaucrats don’t like non-compliant, rebellious serfs

The Foundation for Economic Education highlights how bureaucrats weaponize the child protection system against parents wanting to protect their children from increasingly dysfunctional schools. Schooling is adept at rooting out individuality and enforcing compliance. In his book, Understanding Power, Noam Chomsky writes: “In fact, the whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don’t know how to be submissive, and so on—because they’re dysfunctional to the institutions.” This filtering process begins very early in a child’s schooling as conformity is rewarded and divergence

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In memoriam: Harold Bloom

An academic legend has left us.  Prof. Harold Bloom died earlier this month.  The New York Times offers a lengthy obituary. Professor Bloom was frequently called the most notorious literary critic in America. From a vaunted perch at Yale, he flew in the face of almost every trend in the literary criticism of his day. Chiefly he argued for the literary superiority of the Western giants like Shakespeare, Chaucer and Kafka — all of them white and male, his own critics pointed out — over writers favored by what he called “the School of Resentment,” by which he meant multiculturalists, feminists,

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Languages may be maddening, but they may help to keep you sane

It seems that being able to speak multiple languages, and/or being able to express oneself well, may help to prevent dementia. Researchers from the University of Waterloo recently conducted a study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, to explore the association between multilingualism and dementia risk. To do so, they examined 325 Roman Catholic nuns who were members of the Sisters of Notre Dame in the United States. They gathered the data from the Nun Study, which assesses the sisters and their brain health. After reviewing the material, they found 6% of the nuns who spoke four or more languages

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Heh

Stephan Pastis’ cartoon yesterday made me laugh out loud.  (Click the image to go to a larger version at the Pearls Before Swine Web page.) Somehow I don’t think my elementary school English teacher would have let me get away with that!  Miss de Smit was an old tartar, who wasn’t afraid to use corporal punishment when necessary (and yes, that was legal back then, which may shock modern sensibilities).  Nevertheless, her methods must have worked, because we all graduated from her class with a pretty clear idea about English grammar, vocabulary and usage. Peter

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So why are they still charging fees?

It seems some American universities and university systems can only be described as “stinking rich“. There are 195 countries in the world, and over half of them are poorer than Harvard University. The Ivy League institution’s 2018 endowment was $38.3 billion, according to Stacker. This amount exceeds the wealth of any of more than half of the 195 countries around the world. . . . Campus Reform reached out to Harvard for a breakdown of funding allocation and to see what the school thought of the college vs. countries statistic, but received no comment in time for publication. With a

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Liberal arts degrees still have a place – but only if they’re “real” degrees

I was struck by this article at CNBC, not only for its positive points, but for what it misses.  It’s a case of “close, but no cigar“. By investing in liberal arts graduates, we gain people with human-centered skills who can approach problems in entirely new ways, contributing to out-of-the-box thinking in a digital age. Liberal arts graduates bring a depth and breadth of knowledge from across the humanities and social sciences that complement the hard skills of engineers and data scientists. And in a world that increasingly interacts with technology in every facet of daily life, it’s increasingly important that technology

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“Social and emotional learning” – but by whose standards?

Over at Mad Genius Club this morning, I consider proposals to “establish social and emotional learning as a priority in education”.  I find them rather frightening, to put it mildly.  Here’s an excerpt from that article. My problem is this.  It looks very much as if CASEL is trying to “homogenize” our youth, teaching them the One True Way to deal with life issues, and inculcating a standard set of responses that ignore individuality and “program” them to deal with life, the universe and everything according to whatever approach is politically correct at the moment.  (Read more about it at their

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Doofus Of The Day #1,052

Today’s award goes to the author of an academic paper on – of all things – the sexual exploitation of dairy cows. A paper currently being promoted by a New York university calls on society to consider the rampant “sexual exploitation” of dairy cows by the milk industry in order to “fully fight gendered oppression.” Specifically, the author compares cattle insemination to “rape” and the milking of cows to “sexual abuse.” Titled “Readying the Rape Rack: Feminism and the Exploitation of Non-Human Reproductive Systems,” the paper was published Friday in a journal called Dissenting Voices, which is published and edited by the

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Beware of making commitments you can’t afford

I’m talking back and forth with a couple I’ve known for some years, who recently found their lives turned upside down by one of their children’s study loans.  They had signed as guarantors of the loans, because the university’s financial advisor had assured them that it was “just a formality”, that “everybody does it”, and that if they didn’t step up to their plate, their child “would not get the high-quality education she deserves”. How many of you have endured the same pitches from your kids’ universities and colleges?  Sound familiar? Well, in this case, reality bit.  Hard.  Their daughter

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A self-centered, narcissistic, “I’m entitled!” whiner

Kim du Toit refers to some things as “RCOB moments”, meaning “Red Curtain of Blood”.  Something is so egregiously wrong, or stupid, or ridiculous, that one experiences a red curtain of blood over one’s vision as one instantly loses one’s temper.  Comprehensively. I had such a moment – several of them, in fact – while reading this article. I have $235,000 of student debt. The first $120,000 came with a bachelor’s degree from my state school. Another $70,000 or so came with my master’s degree. The remainder is accrued interest. . . . I would have to begin devoting half of my

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