A Belated Clarification

Circumstances compel me to issue a clarification to a notion rendered in my last entry, from late December, lamenting the re-election of Barack Obama. My expressing a similar idea in a conversation prompted a sharp rebuttal that I was (wrongly and uncharitably) entertaining a conceit that everyone who voted to re-elect Obama did so either for trivial reasons, or out of naked self-interest. It is not true that I believe that, but I can understand how someone could come to that conclusion, given the cynical tone of my harangue. I made two offending comment...

College as a way to babysit 18-year-olds is not very efficient for anyone involved

Quote of the Day for Sunday, June 5th, 2011: Naomi Schaefer Riley, writing in the June 3rd Washington Post, on the value of a modern college education, and the disconnect exposed by PayPal’s Peter Thiel when he recently thumbed his nose at the university system: Executives at U.S. companies routinely complain about the lack of reading, writing and math skills in the recent graduates they hire. Maybe they too will get tired of using higher education as a credentialing system. Maybe it will be easier to recruit if they don’t have to be concerned about the ...

Modern Scholar series (part IV)

Being “between courses” has afforded me the opportunity to dip back into Recorded Books’ Modern Scholar series of lectures on audio CD. I started listening to these a couple years ago, finding the entries by Thomas Madden to be especially worthwhile listening. Aside from Madden’s, I have to admit that I’ve found the rest of the series hit or miss, but I wanted to give a shout-out to Professor Fred E. Baumann for his entry, Visions of Utopia: Philosophy and the Perfect Society. This might come across as a backhanded compliment, but I was impressed by the...