Sep 072017
 

As alerted to us at Slashdot, Harvard’s Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris went to the popular CS50 programming course to beg students please don’t cheat. This comes hard on the heels of a course change in order to suggest that students should consider attending class. A year at Harvard now costs north of $70,000.

Taken together, these offer a new definition of the word pathetic.

 Posted by at 8:48 pm on September 7, 2017
Nov 152016
 

Readers here may know I often lament the failure of campuses overall in genuinely bringing forth diversity in ideas and views, and this has been a topic shared with others as sidebar in the last week especially. One bit of writing from a good friend deserves to be more than sidebar, and with permission I reproduce it here.

I graduated from Oberlin in the late 70’s and I currently live in Portland, Oregon. I am not sure which place is causing me more embarrassment at the moment, but I have decided to blame Alanis Morissette for recent events. Her song “Ironic” has apparently confused a whole generation of snowflakes about the true meaning of the word. They therefore do not see the irony in talking about inclusion, diversity, and tolerance while proudly stating that they don’t know a single person who voted for Trump (Oberlin student) or blaming all the violence on “those anarchists” and then immediately stating that they don’t intend to follow any of Trump’s laws (Portland resident). Such complex people who are yet apparently incapable of seeing such simple inconsistencies. I have repeatedly asked a number of them why they don’t see the irony in their positions and statements, and they respond with a blank stare, all because Alanis has a whole generation believing that irony is something completely different. And that is just sad.

Robert M. Slugg PhD

 Posted by at 8:49 pm on November 15, 2016
May 092016
 

… and not that other stuff. That’s effectively what Facebook provided, according to “news curators” who had worked there and were interviewed for a Gizmodo article. The effect was to put a thumb on the scales of public opinion, biasing it toward promotion of liberal views and suppressing material that might have reflected conservative opinion, or so was the article’s point.

And that point would be quite plausible when you have an unchecked system that relies upon promotion of articles by people who are drawn from a pool that itself is dominated by certain views. Selection bias nuances the choice of curators, and the curators thus bias the messaging by what they choose to promote. How do they recognize a likely article? They’ll see it when they know it.

 Posted by at 10:08 am on May 9, 2016