And the rich won't have to wait in line anymore.
It's, like, the perfect program...
[HT: Canis Major]
The sleep of reason begets monsters
1. Many professors simply don't require papers any more.
2. If professors do require papers, then they assign papers that are either merely research papers or "personal reflection" essays. I.e. either reporting on the work of others or bullshitting. (There's some place for both, but neither should be the norm.)
3. When they assign papers, these papers are often very long, and, consequently, graded in a superficial manner with little substantive feedback. A few comments scrawled in the margins if you're lucky. (It takes me about an hour to grade and produce typed comments on an average 4-5 page paper. The idea of doing this with two classes worth of 25-page papers is preposterous. And, incidentally, the other 20 pages would be superfluous anyway. Within a couple of pages the quality of the work becomes clear.)
4. When writing assignments are given, a very large minority of students simply cheats. The really lazy students just Google something, and they can be caught, though that often takes even more time than it does to grade the paper. Even moderately intelligent and energetic cheaters are hard to catch.
5. Then, of course, there are students who simply buy essays from the evil companies that sell them, or from other students.
Students who can't write usually can't think. And not that many of them can write. Something's really going to have to be done about all this.
A lot of important things follow from this, and I'm not going to try to enumerate them all here before having some coffee, or I might say something intemperate.
But if this information is true, and if such simulations are really the best information available to us about such things, then whichever decision-makers--or should I say 'deciders'?--knew about this and ignored it should immediately be fired. And legal action of some kind might even be considered if such a course of action is available.
Furthermore, this has consequences for decisions about what we do next in Iraq. This seems to provide strong evidence for a claim that most of us came to believe long ago: that we cannot simply "stay the course." So we apparently have to choose between putting in more troops--lots more troops--or just getting the hell out. I am inclined to think that the preponderance of evidence indicates that if we just get out we'll turn a monumental disaster into a disaster of world-historical proportions...but my opinion is worth almost nothing on this topic.
I suppose that there is no longer any doubt that this administration will go down in history as one of the very worst.
It's one thing to have bad judgment--I myself am a pointy-headed intellectual who can't keep his bills paid on time, his house clean, or his important papers in order. I've got certain virtues as a human being, but good practical judgment and the ability to get things done are not necessarily among them. But, see, I know this. That's why I wouldn't seek to be president even if such a thing were possible for an unmarried, inhaling, atheistic philosopher with a knack for alienating both the right and the left. I wouldn't be a good president in part because I don't understand public policy or international affairs well enough, and in part because my practical judgment isn't particularly good--but at least I'm smart enough to realize these things.
The current occupant of the White House and his Roving chorus of yes-men don't seem to realize that they're not particularly smart nor good at what they're doing. These guys remind me of a certain character type familiar in academia--the student (and in some cases, God help us, the professor) who isn't very smart, but who decided long ago that he was. Such people identify with intellectuals--that's who they want to be, what they think of themselves as--and, though they just don't have what it takes, they smash ahead relentlessly as if they did. The result is usually heart-wrenching, but sometimes disastrous, even just in academia.
These sons of bitches are running our country into the ground, and anybody with a lick of sense would have known better.