Quick hits (part II)

1) Sexual violence on campus is a bad thing.  But so is going to far in combating it for universities to ignore basic principles of due process.  Good to see the courts got it right where University of Michigan got it wrong.

2) Really enjoyed this post/video on the importance of aspect ratio in film.

3) Love this— imagine if the media covered alcohol like other drugs.  E.g.,

NEW ORLEANS — An ongoing drug epidemic has swept the US, killing hundreds and sickening thousands more on a daily basis.

The widespread use of a substance called “alcohol” — also known as “booze” — has been linked to erratic and even dangerous behavior, ranging from college students running naked down public streets to brutal attacks and robberies.

4) Are college lectures “unfair” to minorities?  I say no.  To say that sub-optimal teaching is noticeably less effective for students less prepared for college is one thing.  To call lectures unfair seems a bit much.

5) I suppose I’m not surprised the best jobs require you to be a people person.  Also, this advantages women.

6) Just came across this great piece from a couple years ago looking at the failures of American education in a comparative perspective.

7) You”ll surely be shocked as I to learn that changes to tax policy in NC’s latest budget are regressive.

8) It should also be noted in the Ahmed Mohamed case that it was a violation of the 14 year-old’s civil rights to deny his request to have his parents there.  I’ve already told my 15-year old never talk to the police without me.

9) Garrett Epps on what’s worth celebrating about the Constitution on our recent Constitution day.

10) When all my NoVa friends’ kids started school after labor day, I was so pleased to see that my home school system is actually listening to science and has moved back high school start times.

11) Great piece on how regardless of the famous singer, a huge portion of today’s top pop songs come from a bunch of middle-aged Swedish men:

Seabrook describes the pop sound this way: “ABBA’s pop chords and textures, Denniz PoP’s song structure and dynamics, ’80s arena rock’s big choruses, and early ’90s American R&B grooves.”…

More telling is the record executive Jason Flom’s reaction to meeting a young Katy Perry: “Without having heard a note of music, I was sure that Katy was indeed destined for stardom”—a statement that says more about the nature of the industry than about Perry.

12) Risperdal was a great drug for my son Alex for quite a while– really helped calm down the worst features of his autism-induced anxiety and misbehavior.  But he put on too much damn weight (though, not enough to grow breasts as roughly 5% of male patients did).  After a rough transition, he’s done well on the Clonidne patch.  But as for Risperdal, apparently Johnson & Johnson spent years trying to hide its side effects.  Kristoff is on the case.

13) Can we still blame the media for the Donald Trump phenomenon?  John Sides says yes.

14) What happens when Barbie meets Skynet. I imagine it won’t be long before Sarah is wanting the artificially intelligent Barbie.  Kim loved Barbie as a girl and gets such a kick out of sharing that with Sarah (that’s why it’s fun to have both genders of children– you are just more likely to share experiences from your own childhood).  Surely won’t be long before Sarah wants one of these.

15) Krugman on fact and fiction in the GOP debate:

I began writing for The Times during the 2000 election campaign, and what I remember above all from that campaign is the way the conventions of “evenhanded” reporting allowed then-candidate George W. Bush to make clearly false assertions — about his tax cuts, about Social Security — without paying any price. As I wrote at the time, if Mr. Bush said the earth was flat, we’d see headlines along the lines of “Shape of the Planet: Both Sides Have a Point.”

Now we have presidential candidates who make Mr. Bush look like Abe Lincoln. But who will tell the people?

16) It is a very, very bad thing for vaccines to become a politicized issue.

17) Nice little infographic (though, a little business-oriented) on common cognitive biases.

18) I’ve kept this tab on the “Coddling of the American Mind” Atlantic cover story about the changing  intellectual culture on college campuses open long enough without writing a post.  Honestly, it’s simply one of those things that if you are  the type of person who enjoys this blog (and you’ve made it down to the 18th quick hit, so you are) you should read.  So just do it.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

5 Responses to Quick hits (part II)

  1. Mika says:

    #12 But why Sweden rules? “While the truth is probably a poptastic mixture of all these things, there is one prominent factor that has special relevance for the United States. That factor is government support of music, particularly with regards to education.”


    #14 My daughter bought a Furby Boom. It was nice at first but then it listened too much pop music and became rude. It farts and belches and speaks and sings in a very nasty tone. I’d guess my daughter doesn’t want to hear anything about any stinking AI toys never ever again 🙂

    #17 Very nice indeed, cheers.

    • Steve Greene says:

      But surely there’s other European countries with government support for music. What is it about Sweden?!
      No Furby Booms for us!

      • Mika says:

        I think that Swedish governments have put more resources into it, they’ve done it longer, it has been more popular and pop music has been part of it much longer than for example here in Finland. In the article there was this sentence: “…at one point approximately 30% of Swedish children attended publicly-subsidized music schools after regular school hours.” Wow. 30%.

  2. The Atlantic article was definitely good. Thanks for sharing!

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