Sentences to Ponder


1. New Forager watch: NFL lineman, mathematician

“I have a bright career ahead of me in mathematics. Beyond that, I have the means to make a good living and provide for my family, without playing football. I have no desire to try to accumulate $10 million in the bank; I already have more money in my bank account than I know what to do with. I drive a used hatchback Nissan Versa and live on less than $25k a year. It’s not because I’m frugal or trying to save for some big purchase, it’s because the things I love the most in this world (reading math, doing research, playing chess) are very, very inexpensive.”

Note: some New Foragers will be rich, simply because the market happens to reward the things they enjoy doing.

2. Reinventing high school

“CART students choose among 16 different career tracks, many more than we have seen offered in any other school, from forensics to game design to law and order, robotics, biotech, engineering, business and finance, environmental science, psychology and human behavior, and many more. Each track, or “lab” as they are called at CART, is taught by a team of three educators, who have a range of work experience in their fields, from TV to graphic design, to pharmaceuticals and more.”

3. A new blueprint for journalism schools

“All students in the major should take courses to give them a more holistic foundation in journalism: design for news (principles of design elements across all mediums); deep research (methods for data mining, evaluating sources, and investigating algorithms); introductory programming (in a modern language).”

Note: apparently brevity will not be a new maximum (article is too long).

4. What are the implications of the fact that the Left dominates the field of sociology?

“The first is avoidance of taboo topics and conclusions. The taboos in sociology are similar to the ones that Haidt identified in his 2011 talk about social psychology: Ideas such as that “victims” are sometimes blameworthy, that sexes and races biologically differ from one another, that social beliefs are inborn rather than constructed, and that stereotypes sometimes match average group attributes.”

5. The new dictator

“In a recent paper, we argue that the distinctive feature of such new dictatorships is a preoccupation with information (Guriev and Treisman 2015)… The challenge for an incompetent dictator is, then, to fool the public into thinking he is competent. He chooses from among a repertoire of tools – propaganda, repression of protests, co-optation of the elite, and censorship of their messages. All such tools cost money, which must come from taxing the citizens, depressing their living standards, and indirectly lowering their estimate of the dictator’s competence. Hence the trade-off.”

2 thoughts on “Sentences to Ponder

  1. renujuneja1

    I loved the comment on brevity–something I have tried hard to teach my students, who, unsurprisingly, think that more is better, But why single students? My colleagues, and academic presses, are as likely to be convinced/overwhelmed/snookered/won-over by high-fluting verbiage than brief plain speak.


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