Category Archives: Education

Take Away Harvard’s Nonprofit Status


By Annie Lowrey – There’s an old line about how the United States government is an insurance conglomerate protected by an army.

Harvard is a real-estate and hedge-fund concern that happens to have a college attached.

From a purely utilitarian perspective, there are causes that need that $350 million more. Groups like GiveWell are devoted to figuring out where a dollar does the most good. It recommends initiatives like deworming in very low-income countries.

Harvard, at the same time, is spending a billion dollars upgrading its coeds’ convenient, riverfront housing. If it wanted to maximize its $32 billion worth of utility, it could, say, admit more students, especially poor ones, reduce its focus on property development, and double down on its focus on research, which currently makes up $800 million of its $4.2 billion in annual operating expenses. more> http://tinyurl.com/lr6ldlt

How To Trick Your Brain To Hold On To Positive Habit Changes


BOOK REVIEW

Making Habits, Breaking Habits, Author: Jeremy Dean.

By Jane Porter – The notion that a habit takes 21 days to form if you stick to it every day is a myth.

On average, a habit takes more like 66 days to form, with more intensive habits like doing 50 sit-ups every morning taking around 84 days to form. But these figures will often vary greatly from person to person.

Forming habits that stick isn’t about finding a magic number. It’s about being aware of your behaviors and environment and their effects on your brain. more> http://tinyurl.com/orahkqu

Fluid mechanics suggests alternative to quantum orthodoxy


ScienceDaily – The system by Yves Couder and Emmanuel Fort consists of a bath of fluid vibrating at a rate just below the threshold at which waves would start to form on its surface. A droplet of the same fluid is released above the bath; where it strikes the surface, it causes waves to radiate outward. The droplet then begins moving across the bath, propelled by the very waves it creates.

“This system is undoubtedly quantitatively different from quantum mechanics,” John Bush says.

“It’s also qualitatively different: There are some features of quantum mechanics that we can’t capture, some features of this system that we know aren’t present in quantum mechanics. But are they philosophically distinct?” more> http://tinyurl.com/o4kcmpf

The Global Problem With Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment


By Alexandra Sifferlin – Current screening guidelines lead to an overdiagnosis of diseases like cancer, which results in overtreatment for ailments that might never seriously impact a person’s health.

Instead of recommending lifestyle modifications proven to work, like cutting back on alcohol and exercising more, many doctors opt for drugs because they want to do something right away without having to rely on the often-unhealthy environment beyond their office walls. more> http://tinyurl.com/ptb85gs

Related>

Financialization in telecom


By George Mattathil – With all these things going on, one would think that there would be an earnest effort to find out what is wrong.

Instead, the preoccupation in the media and industry is with “net neutrality” confusion, which the FCC Chairman summed up: “the idea of net neutrality has been discussed for a decade with no lasting results.” more> http://wp.me/p4erPG-5j

How We Think


BOOK REVIEW

How We Think, Author: John Dewey.

By Maria Popova – What separates thinking, a basic human faculty we take for granted, from thinking well?

What it takes to train ourselves into mastering the art of thinking, and how we can channel our natural curiosity in a productive way when confronted with an overflow of information.

A subject urgently relevant today, in our age of snap judgments and instant opinions. more> http://tinyurl.com/knfc3fz

Which candidate should you vote for this fall?


By Matthew Yglesias – Most of American politics can be explained with a single liberal-conservative axis, but that at certain points in time — notably the middle of the 20th century — a second axis related to racial equality issues was also very important.

During the time when the racial axis was scrambled, the parties were not perfectly sorted around liberalism versus conservatism.

A lot of southerners with conservatives views on economics were in the Democratic Party for reasons related to white supremacy, and some northerners with moderate views on economics and liberal views on race were Republicans. more> http://tinyurl.com/pvxv7hb