EppsNet Archive: Harvard University

A Hotbed of Asininity

I’ve never heard of this woman but she has a verified account and claims to be a Harvard woman: The fact that presidents are raising money from the public for something the government should pay for is disgusting. https://t.co/2GMAZ4E6JX — Kimberly N. Foster (@KimberlyNFoster) October 22, 2017 OK . . . but where do you think government gets the money to pay for things? Sometimes I think America should change its marketing from the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave to A Hotbed of Asininity. Read more →

An Insignificant Number of Confused, Poorly Organized Losers

News networks have been running a two-week-long (with no end in sight) infomercial on white supremacists and white nationalists and neo-Nazis as though they represent a powerful force that has to be reckoned with, a vast army of domestic terrorists, which they don’t. The most important thing to know about white supremacists and neo-Nazis is that there are actually not very many of them. The leading white supremacist organization is the Ku Klux Klan. How many members do you think the KKK currently has? Take a guess. Keep in mind we live in a country of more than 320 million people. Estimates of current KKK membership run between 5,000 and 8,000 members. Is that less than you thought? As for neo-Nazis, the New York Times ran an article a few years ago on the National Socialist Movement (NSM), which they identified as the largest neo-Nazi group in the country. Take… Read more →

Harvard Study Says Media Are Very Biased Against Donald Trump

According to a Harvard University study, the mainstream media are very biased against Donald Trump. Here’s a chart from the study, showing that the tone of some news outlets is negative in as many as 98% of reports: I’ve noticed that even our local news station is about 90-10 negative on Trump coverage. We have to look at the way the media handled Trump before he was elected. How many newspapers in the entire country endorsed Trump for president? I don’t think the number is zero but it has to be very close to zero. Some newspapers — The Washington Post and New York Times come to mind — were virulently anti-Trump on the editorial page, which bled over into the news coverage. Every news network except Fox was anti-Trump, the only positive news being that he was most definitely not going to be elected. Well, actually it was that… Read more →

OK, But Let’s Not Let Facts Get in the Way of a Good Narrative

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Big Fishes in Small Ponds

A colleague and I are discussing an article about too many kids quitting science because they don’t think they’re smart, in which Carol Dweck, a psychologist at Stanford, says, among other things: Being a good parent has become synonymous with giving out ability praise. Parents still think this is the greatest gift they can give to their children, and as a child gets more and more insecure, they give more and more of it. And, by the way, a lot of employers and coaches have said, “My employees cannot get through the day without accolades and validation.” Even professional coaches have said they cannot give feedback without these people feeling that they’ve crushed them. We’ve created several generations now of very fragile individuals because they’ve been praised and hyped. And feel that anything but praise is devastating. My colleague mentions Malcolm Gladwell‘s book David and Goliath, in which Gladwell claims… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Collected Thoughts

If you recognize the person on this next slide, please raise your hand. Don’t yell out the name, just raise your hand. About two-thirds of you recognize Derek Jeter. I thought everyone would recognize him, but still a clear majority. I’m not a Yankees fan or a Derek Jeter fan particularly but the Captain and I are on the same page on this topic. I have to admit I was pretty competitive as a student. I didn’t want anyone to do better than me and I especially didn’t want anyone to do better than me because they worked harder than me. This Jeter quote reminded me of a quote from another notable sports figure . . . This is Bob Knight, college basketball coach, most notably at the University of Indiana. He won 902 games, three NCAA championships, and he coached the 1984 Olympic basketball team to a gold medal.… Read more →

We’re Still Smarter Than You Are

Teens from Asian nations dominated a global exam given to 15-year-olds, while U.S. students showed little improvement and failed to reach the top 20 in math, science or reading, according to test results released Tuesday. — Why Asian teens do better on tests than US teens – CSMonitor.com Why am I not shocked by that? Because Americans on the whole are dumb and lazy. We have lots of dumb, lazy parents raising dumb, lazy kids. The average American kid doesn’t compare well academically to the average kid in an Asian country where academics and hard work are valued, or to the average kid from a small, homogenous European country where it’s easier to get everyone pulling in the same educational direction. The U.S. is a big, diverse country and the average academic results are pulled down by a lot of dummkopfs. But still, the smartest people in the world are… Read more →

The World’s Greatest University

It’s move-in weekend at UC Berkeley, the world’s greatest university . . . Saul Perlmutter, who just won the Nobel Prize in Physics, is teaching an undergraduate seminar on physics and music this year. How many schools even have Nobel Laureates on the faculty? Of those that do, how many of them teach small classes for freshmen and sophomores? Ivy League schools, with the exception of Harvard, are coasting on their reputations. When’s the last time you heard of an enterpreneur from Dartmouth or Brown or Yale? Stanford is great in engineering and business but limited in other areas. Also, top professors at private schools would rather piss on a spark plug than traffic with undergrads. That said, the University of Southern California football season starts Sept. 1 against Hawaii. The Men of Troy! FIGHT ON FOR OLD ‘SC! OUR MEN FIGHT ON TO VICTORY! Read more →

The Person Who Says It Can’t Be Done Is Interrupted By The Person Doing It

In his latest book, The Price of Inequality, Columbia Professor and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz examines the causes of income inequality and offers some remedies. In between, he reaches some startling conclusions, including that America is “no longer the land of opportunity” and “the ‘American dream’ is a myth.” — The ‘American Dream’ Is a Myth: Joseph Stiglitz on ‘The Price of Inequality’ “If there is anybody at all who has a dream, then they can definitely make it happen,” she told WBTV. “There are no excuses. It depends on you and no one else.” — Dawn Loggins: Homeless, Abandoned Teen Heads to Harvard – Yahoo! Shine The second link above goes to a story about Dawn Loggins, an 18-year-old girl from Lawndale, NC, who, after her mother and stepfather left the state without her and she was dropped by her grandmother at a local homeless shelter, “just made a… Read more →

Northwood 2011 College Decisions

Unlike highly recruited athletes, kids who are highly recruited academically don’t get to go on TV and turn over hats so everyone knows what college they’re going to. Northwood doesn’t have highly recruited athletes, so there’s a Facebook site where they can check in and state their college choice. Also unlike athletes, who are evaluated on a 5-star scale, Northwood students are evaluated on a 3-star scale, according to the commencement program that I have right here in front of me: *** = Highest honors (4.3 GPA or above)  ** = High honors (4.0 or above, but below 4.3)   * = Honors (Not sure; close to a 4.0 but not quite there) It looks like Cal got the best recruiting class this year with three 3-star prospects and no one lower than 2 stars. USC and Stanford each got one 3-star recruit, as did Harvard and Yale. To the kids… Read more →

How to Be Liked by a Lot of People

Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you; spend a lot of time with them and it will change your life. — Amy Poehler, Harvard commencement 2011 Great advice from Amy Poehler, whoever she is. (A little research turns up the fact that she’s been in TV shows and movies with Tina Fey.) Thank god my kid isn’t going to Harvard! Do you have any idea what it costs to send a kid to an Ivy League university?! After which you get as a commencement speaker, not Tina Fey — which would be merely terrible, because at least people have heard of her — but Tina Fey’s sidekick. I’m reminded of the story of the SpongeBob and James D. Watson bobbleheads. SpongeBob has almost 23 million Likes on Facebook. Amy Poehler is giving commencement speeches at Harvard. James D. Watson is alive but unknown, not invited to commencements,… Read more →

Twitter: 2010-02-18

RT @capricecrane: So is this the Tiger Woods press conference where he decides who gets the final rose? # Four Ways of Looking at Twitter – Harvard Business Review: http://bit.ly/9TTYFi # Read more →

Santayana: “I Told You So”

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. — George Santayana   “Is that a fact?” she said. “Well–I’ve got news for Mr. Santayana: we’re doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That’s what it is to be alive. It’s pretty dense kids who haven’t figured that out by the time they’re ten.” “Santayana was a famous philosopher at Harvard,” said Slazinger, a Harvard man. And Mrs. Berman said, “Most kids can’t afford to go to Harvard to be misinformed.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard Read more →

Harvard Errs

I was marveling at the Harvard University fact page — 14.6 million volumes! Established 1636! — when I noticed “10 principle academic units.” Egads! A grammatical error on the Harvard site! I’d better send them an email . . . Read more →