Monday, August 30, 2004

The Autonomy Myth

I recently skimmed through the new book by Fineman The Autonomy Myth. Fineman looks at how America's mythology of independence and autonomy helps to undermine the essential role of care-givers. The author points out that all of us are inherently interdependent, but the current zeitgeist doesn't properly compensate care-givers for their essential contribution to society. I loved the book (the parts I got around to reading, anyway.) I only wish some great thinker would come around and expand the book's fundamental premise into a thorough-going critique on our society. I would argue that people everywhere need to be valued for their contribution to society--no matter how seemingly mundane this contribution may be. We need to replace Bill Gates on the cover of our magazines with the image of a street-sweeper at work or a grandmother reading to a child.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Classes

I would recommend the following two articles to all those who are skeptical about the class divide. The first has to do with the perception of poverty and the second with the meritocracy myth.

Uniter, not a divider

Slate has a good comic about how Bush is a uniter vs. a divider.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Swiftboats

Pandagon has a post with some interesting comments on the recent Kerry swiftboat witchhunt.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Poland set to exit Iraq

In today's news, Poland says it wants to pull out of Iraq as soon as possible.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Blogs in the classroom

The New York Times has a fresh article on the use of blogs in the classroom.

If all vets are liars and I am a vet, then...

According to a recent news article, Thurlow, who recently claimed that Kerry lied about being under fire, received his own citation in this incident for being under fire!

Danke to Stupid Git for pointing this out.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Big Brother.com

Wired News has a report on how corporations are increasingly being hired to spy on citizens. Even more alarming, companies such as Choice Point are apparently being hired to compile information on citizens in Latin American countries that do not go along with Bush policies (read the post on Bush League.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Blogs & news

I came across an interesting article: "There is an Orthodoxy to Our Thinking." Thomas B. Edsall of the Washington Post on How Blogs Can Enliven Journalism. I agree. In particular, I feel that bloggers living close to events can provide a perspective that journalists have a hard time providing.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Trickling like Heinz catsup

Daniel, on Crooked Timber, has an interesting post on the lowest economic quintile in the U.S. during the last several decades and the failure of trickle-down economics. There are also extensive comments on his post.

TOEFL test: Computer vs. paper versions

I've recently been interested in the TOEFL test, which now has a computerized version in addition to the paper version. The two tests provide different scores with most undergraduate programs calling for approximately 525 to 550, and graduate programs for a score ranging from 550 to 600. Some studies have been done to ascertain whether the two versions are in fact comparable. Rozendaal, for example, has a paper providing a short overview of research titled Fairness Issues with Computer Familiarity in Computer-Based Language Testing. The author concludes: "The studies reviewed in this paper, while not exhaustive, seem to generally indicate that fairness issues arising from differences in computer familiarity among test-takers can be mitigated." Sawaki has a more detailed research study that looks at the issue. Puhan and Boughton also have a study.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Grammar or vocabulary logs

Have any of you fellow bloggers used either a grammar log or vocabulary log in any of your classes? I'm thinking about including both of these as part of a mini-portfolio (essentially a notebook) in one of my classes.

I, Republican

I really liked this post from Whiskey Bar--a funny adaptation of Asimov's three laws of Robotics:

1. A Republican may not injure a corporation, or, through inaction, allow a corporation to come to harm.

2. A Republican must obey the orders given it by corporations except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A Republican must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Japanese nuclear accident

The SF Chronicle reports a nuclear accident today. Fortunately, no radiation was released.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Furious green thoughts

I just noticed that this blog still only has one lonely post. Of course, the initial posts on any blog are painful. It's the equivalent of scribbling graffiti in the sand at low tide. No one (and I mean NO ONE) will ever read Post Number 1. So basically I can write anything here. Hell. I dont even need be grammitical or spelle correktly. Who's gonna see? My father claims that he filled the back section of a major college paper with nursury rhymes and fairy tales knowing that the prof would never get around to reading it. So now there's this musty paper sitting in the archives of some dilapidated university, with this sudden transition from assessment theory to Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Who knows? Perhaps there's some hidden significance connected fairy tale with assessment. Or some hidden meaning between furious green thoughts and the second post of an education-related blog. Or perhaps there's no meaning at all. Perhaps it's all Bob Dylan creating insightful poetic lines from his own personal lunacy--a private world that none of us are privvy to. Or perhaps it's late... Very late.