Links for 2010-01-13

  • "These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China."
  • "Lucas Faber has tried focusing on Godspell to keep the thought of tithing out of his mind."
  • "Howell used nationwide data from the high school graduating class of 1992 to model the admissions practices of colleges as well as the application and matriculation decisions of students. She used that model to predict how institutions and students might react if affirmative action programs ended nationwide.

    The model predicts that the number of minority students accepted to more than one school would drop by 2.5 percentage points. The number of minority student not accepted to any schools would go up by 1.8 percentage points. That translates into a drop in overall minority enrollment at four-year colleges of two percent.

    "This result is magnified at the most selective 4-year colleges, where the affirmative action ban is predicted to result in reduced minority representation by 10.2%," Howell wrote in her report."

  • Better employment conditions across academia aren't going to happen unless there's a serious reconstruction of the internal economies of most academic institutions. Magical thinking isn't going to get us anywhere: you've got to find the money. That means doing less of some major activities, doing things differently, some change in the basics as they stand. It probably also means smoothing out the distribution of "better employment", getting rid of 1/2 teaching loads at R1 institutions so that there's less of a need to turn to adjuncts and teaching assistants, for example. But at most universities, that's not really where the money issues lie.

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