Venture Capitalists And Universities Rush To Online Education

The amount of waste and duplication in education is huge. Why should tens of thousands of explain calculus every year? Why not just record the lectures and use all live teaching labor for Q&A sessions?

When universities and colleges start doing massive layoffs think of it as the freeing up of a dwindling supply of high IQ labor.

via ParaPundit: Venture Capitalists And Universities Rush To Online Education.

Smart People Stay Up Late And Sleep Late!

File this under “flattering, and appeals to my prior beliefs”:

Researchers from the London School of Economics have found that people with high I.Q.s are more likely to be night owls, whereas folks with lower I.Q.s are more likely to wake up early and function their best during the day. Other studies have found a link between “eveningness” and getting good grades in school.

However, all is not well with those who burn the midnight oil. People who are disposed to staying up late are less reliable and more likely to suffer from depression and various addictions when compared to early risers.

Thank goodness I don’t have the “addictions” part. /me pours another drink

Via Smart People Stay Up Late And Sleep Late!.

Bias At Politifact

PolitiFact zinged Paul Ryan (“mostly false”) for saying that Obama “puts a board of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in charge of Medicare who are required to cut Medicare in ways that will lead to denied care for current seniors.” Those bureaucrats aren’t “unaccountable,” says PolitiFact, because they can be removed for “malfeasance in office” — which obviously isn’t what Ryan was getting at. “Their recommendations can be rejected by Congress,” it continues. Sure. But their recommendations can also become law without any congressional action: a process that can reasonably be described as lacking the accountability some people find worthwhile in lawmaking. PolitiFact complains as well about “bureaucrats”: “They become members of the bureaucracy by definition once they join the board. But they won’t all start that way.”

via PolitiFiction – The Editors – National Review Online.

The Difference Between “Pro-Business” and “Pro-Markets”

Why do you say that America’s political system is degenerating into crony capitalism?

There is not a well-understood distinction between being pro-business and being pro-market. Businessmen like free markets until they get into a market; once they are in it they want to block entry to others. Pro-marketeers want free markets at all times. The more conservative pro-marketeers are fearful of criticising business, because they assume they will be seen as criticising the free market. But we need to stand up and criticise business when business is not helping the cause of free markets.

In what way?

Take lobbying. Lobbying may once have been reactive but now it’s proactive—businessmen use it to shape policy and ask for tax advantages. This is corruptive of democracy.

Examples, please.

Companies with a lot of money abroad sponsored a bill in 2004/5 that allowed them to repatriate their profits at a low tax rate. Thus $1 produced $220 of tax savings. The Bush-approved drug and Medicare act was a huge bonanza for the drug industry. Their market value increased by several billion dollars when this was announced. I could continue.

I am, of course, pro-markets. (Emphasis in original.) Via Quick study: Luigi Zingales on crony capitalism: When business and government are bedfellows | The Economist.

Incentives Under Socialism and Capitalism (“Socialism Kills”)

Regarding oil production in Venezuela, where the state owns the facilities:

While no system of economic organisation will be immune to getting the incentives and deterrents wrong (see Macondo), socialist systems are particularly bad at it, as is reflected in a long, ignoble list of terrible events. Operations in socialist economies are especially compromised by competing priorities made explicit to Operations staff by politicized management. In capitalist economies, organisations thrive by producing benefits for a diverse group of stakeholders. If an Operations person sees a corroded flange and intervenes to shut down production and make the situation safe, they can expect to be recognised and rewarded by private organisations in a capitalist system. In contrast, in socialist economies, there is a single stakeholder – the state – and the incentives are mal-adjusted by highly politicized filters. If the same worker, with the same expertise, is in the same situation with a corroded flange in a socialist economy, they will need to very carefully think whether they will be rewarded for intervening or punished for sabotaging production for the people.

All emphasis mine. (I think this is the first time I’ve quoted from an article *comment*.) Via Socialism Kills, Venezuela Edition | Via Meadia.

In gun-controlled Chicago, 1 dead and 16 wounded in shootings over weekend

A man was killed and at least 16 others were shot across the city Saturday evening and this morning, continuing a streak of violence that has left dozens wounded in recent days.

In the fatal shooting, a 28-year-old man was found shot multiple times, including in the chest, inside an SUV parked near the corner of 91st Street and South East End Avenue in the Calumet Heights neighborhood on the South Side at about 3 a.m., police said.

The man was identified as Rashad Pratt, 28, of the 9000 block of South Ridgeland Ave., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. He was declared dead on the scene after paramedics were unable to revive him, authorities said.

Additional details weren’t available as district officers and Area South detectives remained on the scene this morning.

At least five people have been shot in the city since 4 a.m., police said:

Tell me again how gun control helps protect the law-abiding citizen? Via 1 dead, 16 wounded in shootings across the city – chicagotribune.com.

Armed Bystander Shoots Attacker, Saves Cop

Officer Brian Harrision was escorting a funeral procession Friday when he pulled Temple over and wrote him a ticket for breaking into the procession.  According to Phares, that’s when Temple attacked Harrison.  Police say Perry Stevens was walking outside of the Auto Zone on Greenwell Springs Road when he heard Harrison yelling for help.  Harrison was reportedly on his back with Temple on top of him.  That’s when Stevens went to his car and grabbed his .45 caliber pistol. 

According to Col. Greg Phares, "[Mr. Stevens] orders Mr. Temple to stop and get off the officer.  The verbal commands are ignored and Mr. Stevens fires four shots, all of which struck Mr. Temple."

Perry Stevens fired four shots into Temple’s torso.  Officer Harrison had already fired one shot into Temple’s abdomen.  With Temple still struggling with the officer, Perry continued to advance toward the scuffle.

"He again orders Mr. Temple to stop what he was doing and get off the officer.  Those commands are ignored and he fires a fifth shot and that hits his head.  The incident is over with, and as you know, Mr. Temple is dead."

Police are calling the shooting death justified.  Perry Stevens has a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

via Bystander Fired Deadly Shot, Not Officer – WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports.

How to Step Away (A Neil Armstrong Obituary)

The effort to put a man on the moon was everything the counterculture 60s repudiated: technology, military skill, national pride, American optimism, the sense that the Frontier has to be conquered so we can find a new one, and go there too. Neil Armstrong offered in jest to be the first man to walk on Mars, as well. Buzz Aldrin has been pushing  a Mars jaunt for years. If the space program had kept up its pace and sent a team to Mars in the 90s, of course they wouldn’t have sent Neil and Buzz, but if they had, you can imagine Neil Armstrong holding the door for his co-pilot. I’ve had mine. You first.

He seemed like that sort of man.

Emphasis in original. Via How to Step Away – Ricochet.com.

Regarding Akin, A Legitimate Question

Nailing someone for using the term ‘legitimate rape’ when there is a distinct difference between a forced, violent, random, stranger-perpetrated rape and one in which the involved woman is sometimes not even sure herself whether or not a rape occurred is pure political gamesmanship.  And it’s a confusion which has been created through the use of fuzzy terminology that is for some reason off limits for discussion.

(As a pre-emptive note: Those of you who know me know I care little for the Republican party, and it is both stupid *and* wrong to suspect me of sympathizing with actual violent offenders, and additionally so to accuse me of wanting to disparage or deny the rights of any person to control over his or her own body. So spare me any faux outrage. Comments will be policed accordingly.) Via A Legitimate Question « Gucci Little Piggy.

If You Were *Un*successful, You Didn’t Do That On Your Own

Look, if you’ve been unsuccessful, you didn’t get there on your own. If you were unsuccessful at opening or operating a small business, some government official along the line probably contributed to your failure.  There was an overzealous civil servant somewhere who might have stood in your way with unreasonable regulations that are part of our American system of anti-business red tape that allowed you to not thrive.  Taxpayers invested in roads and bridges, but you might have faced city council members who wouldn’t allow you to use them.  If you’ve been forced to close a business – it’s often the case that you didn’t do that on your own.  Somebody else made that business closing happen or prevented it from opening in the first place. You can thank the bureaucratic tyrants of the nanny state.

via CARPE DIEM: Great Moments in Government Regulation: How City Regulations Killed a Dream in Chattanooga.