Oprah wins in Texas

A few years back, in the infamous beef defamation case, Oprah was accused of taking the meat out of Texas, but now Texas has done that all by itself. Texas is taking the meat out of its educational system.  How to improve those graduation rates?  Take the hard stuff out of the curriculum and reduce the number of those mandatory tests.

Image from Idiocracy

STEM Researchers Love “My Cousin Vinny”

This in from the Moö State U blog run by a philosopher intent on showing the lack of standards in what are supposed to be the top disciplines at many universities, the so-called STEM disciplines.  Someone could get credit for a rigorously peer-reviewed article that is utter nonsense. Who needs David Lodge?

  • Paragraph #2 of the introduction, on the first page itself, says: You should read any paragraph that starts with the first 4 words in bold and italics – those have been written by the author in painstaking detail. However, if a paragraph does not start with bold and italics, feel free to skip it because it is gibberish auto-generated by the good folks at SCIGen.
  • One section of the paper consists entirely of dialogues from the movie “My Cousin Vinny.”
  • And the conclusion section of the paper actually has this: And we’ve managed to reference Hilbert, HHGTTG, Sholay, My Cousin Vinny, Jeff Naughton, the Wisconsin Database Performance Paper, Xeno’s paradox, Meeta Kabra and the wogma.com website, and we even referenced the Sokal Affair in the heading of the paper (actually in the name of the institute that the authors are from, but you get what I mean, right?) proving once and for all that nobody has read this paper.

photo from My Cousin Vinny

The Funniest Line of the Day

The university says the blame rests firmly and exclusively with two people.
The New York Times reports on fraud at UNC-Chapel Hill

Although this blog can have nothing to do with my life as an administrator, I would like to suggest a new life goal: to become an “inattentive administrator.”

I present to you below a documentary about the fraud described in The New York Times article.

Photo from South Park

Thought-coins in the Fountain of Non-Edification

Bad News for the Holidays

There is no such thing as healthy obesity.

Science ruins the holidays again.  See this New York Times article.

Holiday Gift to Readers

What Steve Mintz cannot imagine

Steve Mintz has millions of dollars at his disposal to shape the intersection of technology and higher education in the University of Texas System. If you do not know who he is, you can read the Wikipedia article about him, but beware: “A major contributor to [the] article appears to have a close connection with its subject.” It’s that way sometimes with people trying to become more important in social media.

photo of Mintz

Steve Mintz — a happy Texan who has become One with Capitalism, and wants you to be that way too

Mintz is a devoted capitalist. He cannot imagine any other future other than one involving decreased public support for higher education, and increased energies devoted to educators begging the private sector for help. In a way, it’s surprising we do not have a Kickstarter campaign out there already for the UT System. Mintz does not acknowledge any problem with the current state of affairs in which the state of Texas interferes 100% of the time in higher education, but provides less than 20% of its funding. For Mintz, that’s the way of capitalism, and he cannot imagine a world that is different. Mintz is one with other alleged tech gurus who hawk Coursera and edX while merging the discourse of “open education” and entrepreneurship. The goal of enterprises like Coursera and edX is profit. Have you met an administrator in public education whose goal is free and open education run only by faculty members with tech skills?

Yet, there are other ways to proceed.

The prevailing paradigms cannot explain why the economy with the highest level of workforce participation in its governance, the greatest degree of regulation of labourmarket entry through vocational enforcement and the most severe constraints on capital in its banking system should be the most competitive in Europe.