Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

A very important and insightful post on MOOCs. Everybody talks about them but who has actually taken the trouble to analyze them at length, like this blogger did: “A well thought out MOOC costs and does not save money. It is clear to me that in order to move forward on the creation well-tempered MOOCs, we should at least for the moment decouple the discussion of cost-cutting from that of extending access to education to people who have none. These are two issues, not one, and it is my distinct impression that they have been conflated to one by the language of neoliberalism.

Pro-life advocates are rabid in their supposed desire to protect the unborn. They are not so moved to protect the welfare of a living child, especially if it might cost the government money. I cannot reconcile these positions and I have yet to gain any answers to this paradox from those that so violently advocate for life.” The only answer that makes sense is that not a single anti-choicer has any actual interest in any actual fetuses. All they really want is to express their rage against women. Let’s just accept this simple reality and move on already.

It is really really disturbing to discover that a blogger I never met has been having the same dream I have for about 20 years.  But it isn’t that weird for people from my part of the world to have this dream. We were all traumatized by airplanes falling out of the sky on residential buildings. (The link is in Russian.)

The greatest problem with the jury system is that jurors are often intensely stupid: “The juror said that she initially found the law surrounding the case “very confusing,” specifically referring to the last-minute addition of manslaughter to the charges they were to consider against Zimmerman. “there was a couple in there who wanted to find him guilty of something,” she said, but that neither of the options on the table, second-degree murder or manslaughter, were feasibly options given the way they read state law.” Just think about it: if they could stay sequestered for a trial, this means nobody required their presence anywhere else.

Richard Cohen, I am a 39-year-old white woman married to a 37-year-old white man, and between us we own at least five hoodies. No one—no one—looks at either one of us wearing a hoodie and imagines that we are wearing “a uniform” of “urban crime.” The only reason anyone would look at Trayvon Martin and call a hoodie “a uniform” is because he was a black kid.” Exactly. My sister lived for hoodies when she was Trayvon’s age, and somehow nobody thought she was a criminal of any kind.

We have the same kind of stupid racists preventing Metrolink from coming to my town: “Another woman, who would not give her name, put it more explicitly: “If somebody can’t get to King of Prussia by car, they shouldn’t be coming at all.”

You’d think that nobody would be able to find anything wrong with the great initiative to offer access to stairwells to people who don’t want to take the elevator, but there are preachy drama queens who believe their self-pity is a good reason to prevent other people from taking care of their health.

And this is how I discovered that my current state school is one of the most elite universities in the country: “I believe the scientific term is FUBAR. Over three-quarters of instruction is conducted by non-tenure-track faculty (likemeeeeeeeeeeee), and the compensation and work structure for tenure-track faculty is also no picnic these days anywhere but at the most elite institutions.” I didn’t go to campus for a week and the university managed to join the ranks of the super-elite in that short period of time. Good for us!

During the past thirty years conservatives have worked to dismantle the institutions that produced the prosperous middle class after WW2.” Of course, this fictitious “prosperous middle class” was actually a class of prosperous men who owned indigent and completely dependent women and were served by indigent and debased blacks. But who cares, as long as men had enough money to stomp on women as much as they wanted? I know everybody is sick and tired of me saying this but I will keep saying it for as long as I have to if people are not getting how offensive their slobbering over the golden age of the 1950s is.

Choosing abortion over child abuse: the most poignant, honest and powerful piece on reproductive rights I have seen in a while.


24 thoughts on “Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion”

  1. I rather think b37 is a venal self serving woman who plays at being stupid but isn’t quite bright enough to pull off disingenuous. This is all I can say without wanting to throw things.


  2. “It is really really disturbing to discover that a blogger I never met has been having the same dream I have for about 20 years…(The link is in Russian.)”

    My Google Chrome web browser translates the page instantly with a single click, and does an amazingly (to me) good job with the grammar. I can’t read Russian, so don’t know how literally accurate the computerized translation is.

    “Where it once a quarter, for a number of years, I dream the same dream from which I wake up in a cold sweat and with wildly beating heart. After that, as a rule, can not go to sleep already. Geography and details of the action are always different, but the scenario one – right in front of me, slowly and inexorably, falling big airliner. horror that I feel the tragedy as in reality. To the smallest detail. Starting from the last thoughts doomed people on board, the heat of explosion and burning plastic smell, fuel, aluminum and flesh. Today accidentally stumbled upon his dream. One to one. If I say that I’m shocked, to say nothing.”


  3. Regarding the “prosperous middle class” article, people think that social institutions are eternal and intrinsically stable, if they have not been attacked from the outside, or by nefarious forces within, but really there are all sorts of factors that influence relative prosperity (some of which you have mentioned….slave owners can feel richer). Ultimately, though being passive and allowing the powers that be to whittle away your rights at work and trick you about medical care will produced a more debased standard of living.


  4. I didn’t see a comment option on the “Choosing abortion over child abuse” post, otherwise I would’ve told the author I know what she means.

    With me, the problem wouldn’t be rage, but tiredness. I know I couldn’t hurt a baby, but I couldn’t love one either, and could very easily neglect it. Even if I were highly motivated (say, the baby belonged to someone I loved), I’m just not sure I could provide the level of care needed. I sleep a lot, don’t have much energy, and am very prone to autistic inertia (i.e., if I’m doing something, I have a hard time tearing myself away from whatever it is. I’ve postponed feeding myself longer than I should have because of it, so it’s no stretch at all to imagine myself failing to feed someone else in time), and could easily see myself coming to resent this little person who would demand so much of my limited time and energy.

    This is why I am absolutely determined never to become pregnant. I’d be a terrible mother.


  5. I first heard about MOOCs when someone was talking about them on the radio on Sunday. I wasn’t sure of the spelling, whether it was MOOC or MOOK, and since it was the first I had heard of them, I had no idea what they were, but gathered they were something to do with education. The next time I encountered the term was on your blog, and so I was reminded that I needed to Google it. So you could say that i first learned about them here. Second with the latest, that’s Clarissa’s blog!


  6. The greatest problem with the jury system is that

    I’ll never forget doing jury duty in New York City. An assault case; the defendant was a black man. After a week of testimony, and then the judge’s instructions, we went back to the jury room. The first thing out of a juror’s mouth was: “We know he did it; what is the punishment?” Heads nodded in approval.

    There were two jurors who weren’t “white”; me and another woman. It fell on us to explain, stunned, that there was a presumption of innocence and the judge meted out punishment, not us. Our job was to determine guilt, and degree thereof, which would lead to a sentence.

    This quickly devolved into us turning into parrots of reason: “Beyond a reasonable doubt…”, we endlessly repeated. At the end, we acquitted. Why? Because the other jurors, so ready to “throw the book” at the man before even hearing his case, didn’t want to be bothered with sequestration. They basically said, “he’s yours; he’s free. We’re out of here.”

    From that moment on, I realized I never wanted to be tried by a “jury of my peers”.


    1. Yes, as I said, juries consist of uneducated, barely literate people wwo cannot begin to fathom the intricacies of the American justice system. They guide themselves by whether they have a vaguely positive or a vaguely negative feeling about a criminal. Of course, Americans are hysterically attached to the jury system (the fear of the big bad government once again) and are incapable of seeing that with the current degree of illiteracy this system is untenable.


  7. “Did Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law Increase Firearm Homicides?“, Eric Voeten (Assoc Prof Justice, Georgetown U), The Monkey Cage, 17 July 2013 — Conclusion:

    So, compared to a group of states that had similar homicide rates prior to 2005 {when the law was signed}, Florida’s homicide rate shot up unusually after 2005 (and in a way that cannot easily be accounted for by observed variables).


    1. “The United States is now embarked on an unprecedented experiment, in that it is a strong state, fully capable of suppressing private violence, but it is increasingly choosing not to.”

      – What does this have to do with the state if private citizens acquitted Zimmerman and private citizens begin to howl every time anti-gun legislation is proposed? What was the state supposed to do to influence the Zimmerman verdict? What is the state supposed to do now to silence all those who are cheering for Zimmerman and arming themselves? Even repression on a Stalinist scale will not suffice to shut up the impotent, stupidly yelping gun lovers.

      I have to say that whenever I see the words “scholar from California”, I know that something silly is about to come my way.


      1. The state agrees to this interpretation of stand your ground laws.

        // whenever I see the words “scholar from California”

        “Male Victimhood in Armed Conflict” seems to be a good post.


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