On Private Science Funding

A couple of weeks back, DougT won this year’s Nobel betting pool, and requested a post on the subject of funding of wacky ieas: could you comment on this: http://www.space.com/22344-elon-musk-hyperloop-technology-revealed.html and the phenomenon of the uber-rich funding science in general. It seems to me that there used to be more private funding of science, and […]

On Class and Skills and Education

In a comment to yesterday’s post about the liberal arts, Eric Lund makes a good point: The best argument I have ever heard for doing scholarship in literature and other such fields is that some people find it fun. I single this out as a good point not because I want to sneer at the […]

Admissions and Hiring: Faculty Are Students in a Funhouse Mirror

In one of those Information Supercollider moments, two very different articles crossed in my social media feeds, and suddenly seemed to be related. The first was this New York Post piece by a college essay consultant: Finally, after 15 or so years of parents managing every variable, there comes the time when a student is […]

Financiers Still Aren’t Rocket Scientists

Over at Slate, John Dickerson has a piece expressing amazement that “numbers guy” Mitt Romney was so badly misinformed about the election. While I’ll admit to a certain amount of schadenfreude about the general bafflement of the Romney campaign and the Republicans generally, this particular slant (which Dickerson isn’t the only one to take, just […]

Twilight of the Elites and the Rise of the Culture

In which I use my double license as a physicist and a science fiction fan to engage in some half-assed futurism spinning off Chris Hayes’s much-discussed book. ————- I don’t read a lot of political books, because I tend to find them frustrating. They’re usually surprisingly ephemeral, trying to spin Deep Meaning out of a […]

What Does It Take to Evaluate Teaching?

In which we compare a couple of different systems for evaluating teachers, looking at what’s involved in doing a fair assessment of a teacher’s performance. ——– Another casualty of the great blog upgrade, in the sense of a post that was delayed until the inspiration for it has been forgotten by most of the people […]

In Which I Am Grumpy About Education

In comments to Friday’s snarky post, I was chided for not engaging with the critique of standardized testing offered by Washington Post education blogger Valerie Strauss. I had intended to say more about the general topic, as there have been a bunch of much-cited articles in a similar vein crossing my RSS reader recently, but […]