Tidbits on April 23, 2013
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

This week I feature Set 3 of my favorite White Mountain cloud photographs




Tidbits on April 23, 2012
Bob Jensen

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/.

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/resume.htm#Presentations   

Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

How Accountics Scientists Should Change: 
"Frankly, Scarlett, after I get a hit for my resume in The Accounting Review I just don't give a damn"
One more mission in what's left of my life will be to try to change this

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy --- http://plato.stanford.edu/

"100 Websites You Should Know and Use (updated!)," by Jessica Gross, Ted Talk, August 3, 2007 ---


Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio
In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Existentialism --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existentialism
Existentialism for Dummies (in a comical video)
Friedrich Nietzsche & Existentialism Explained to Five-Year-Olds (in Comical Video by Reddit) --- Click Here

America Revealed (PBS) --- http://www.pbs.org/america-revealed/

How the Universe Was Born, Animated: A CERN Explanation ---

International Wildlife --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=BUOQ_yPW_0s

Remembering Maria Tallchief, America’s Great Prima Ballerina ---
http://www.openculture.com/2013/04/remembering_maria_tallchief_americas_great_prima_ballerina.html America Revealed http://www.pbs.org/america-revealed/

Free music downloads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Jackie Evancho -To Believe --- http://www.staged.com/video?v=NtK
Before I lay down to rest ...

History of Rock: New MOOC Presents the Music of Elvis, Dylan, Beatles, Stones, Hendrix & More --- Click Here

Pakistani Musicians Play Amazing Version of Dave Brubeck’s Jazz Classic, “Take Five” --- Click Here

Legendary Guitarist Andrés Segovia Plays J.S. Bach at the Alhambra, 1976 ---

Max Richter In Concert: Reimagining Vivaldi ---

Global Performing Arts Database --- http://www.glopad.org/pi/en/

Tokyo String Quartet Live From WGBH ---

Jonathan Biss And The Elias String Quartet At Carnegie Hall ---

Remembering Maria Tallchief, America’s Great Prima Ballerina ---

Carnegie Hall Live: Dresden Staatskapelle ---

Unusual Brass Band (Humor) --- http://www.wimp.com/brassband/

Appreciating A Pillar Of The Chicago Sound: Trumpeter Bud Herseth ---

Web outfits like Pandora, Foneshow, Stitcher, and Slacker broadcast portable and mobile content that makes Sirius look overpriced and stodgy ---

TheRadio (my favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.theradio.com/
Slacker (my second-favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.slacker.com/

Gerald Trites likes this international radio site --- http://www.e-radio.gr/
Songza:  Search for a song or band and play the selection --- http://songza.com/
Also try Jango --- http://www.jango.com/?r=342376581
Sometimes this old guy prefers the jukebox era (just let it play through) --- http://www.tropicalglen.com/
And I listen quite often to Soldiers Radio Live --- http://www.army.mil/fieldband/pages/listening/bandstand.html
Also note
U.S. Army Band recordings --- http://bands.army.mil/music/default.asp

Bob Jensen listens to music free online (with commercials) --- http://www.slacker.com/ 

Bob Jensen's threads on nearly all types of free music selections online ---

Photographs and Art

Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor (Business History in Massachusetts and Rhode Island) --- http://www.nps.gov/blac/index.htm

From Duke University (business history images)
R.C. Maxwell Company Records, 1904-1990s and undated ---

Humans of New York: Street Photography as a Celebration of Life ---

Artist Shepard Fairey Curates His Favorite YouTube Videos ---

John Penley Photographs (squatters rights and housing protests)  --- http://www.flickr.com/photos/tamiment/sets/72157620867253660/

National African American Photographic Archive

National Gallery of Art: Notable Lectures --- http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/lectures/index.shtm

Manchester Art Galleries --- http://www.manchestergalleries.org/the-collections/

Congressman Frank Annunzio Photo Collection (Italian American History) ---

World War I & World War II Propaganda Posters --- http://bir.brandeis.edu/handle/10192/23520 

A Photographer Finds Beauty In Decaying Theaters Around The World ---

Bob Jensen's threads on history, literature and art ---

Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

The Digital Public Library of America Launches Today (April 18, 2013), Opening Up Knowledge for All ---

Free Electronic Literature --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm
Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on April 23, 2013

U.S. National Debt Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Also see http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

Peter G. Peterson Website on Deficit/Debt Solutions ---

Bob Jensen's health care messaging updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

Yeah Right!
All a baseball team needs to win the World Series is a new and luxurious stadium.
We're still waiting for their new luxurious stadium to win a Super Bowl for the Dallas Cowboys

While Chicago is buried in billions of debt and lousy schools, it really can't afford to subsidize mulii-millionaire owners of and players in professional sports teams
"Cubs Owner: Wrigley Plan 'Will Win the World Series'," by Joe Barrett, The Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2013 ---

The Chicago Cubs on Monday announced an agreement with the city for a $500 million privately financed renovation of historic Wrigley Field, but property owners who offer fans a view of the action from neighboring rooftops are threatening to throw a monkey wrench into the plans.

The team, purchased by the Ricketts family in 2009 for about $845 million, plans new locker rooms, food services and a nearby hotel and office building. Supporters promised new jobs for the city and a better experience for fans as they seek to secure final approval from the City Council and the landmarks commission.

Continued in article

The new 37,000-seat Major League Baseball facility includes a retractable roof to shield spectators from the sun and rain, inherently changing the perception of summertime baseball in South Florida for generations to come. It's time to experience baseball in Miami as it was meant to be experienced.

"Miami Marlins Have Become Baseball's Most Expensive Stadium Disaster," Forbes, January 27, 2013 ---

By the end of that championship season, the Marlins posted an operating loss of $43 million — due in part to attendance that was the third-worst in the Major Leagues.
"The financial mess at Marlins Park: inside the numbers," by Douglas Hanks and Barry Jackson, Miami Herald, March 31, 2013 ---

A new baseball stadium was supposed to fix South Florida’s lukewarm embrace of professional baseball. But the Marlins’ first season in their new ballpark may have made things even worse for the team.

Splurging on payroll last year gave owner Jeffrey Loria a $100 million lineup that he couldn’t afford without a windfall from a winning season. The trades that followed last year’s 93-loss debacle sent payroll down 60 percent to the second-lowest in baseball, leaving fans more furious at the Marlins than at any time in the franchise’s 20 year-history.

And while cutting payroll used to produce profits, the added debt and operating costs of a new $634 million stadium have left team executives predicting another loss on top of last year’s team record $47 million operating loss.

“The attendance impacted everything,’’ said David Samson, the team’s president, in a recent interview. “We looked at our revenue numbers, and the team has to be able to sustain itself.”

As the new season opens Sunday, the team appears to be in the baseball equivalent of a foxhole, waiting to fight another day. With a payroll estimated at $45 million — only the Houston Astros pay out less, at $32 million — the odds of the Marlins winning the National League pennant are pegged at 150-to-1.

Samson says attendance needs to increase at least a third from last year for the Marlins to afford a mid-range payroll of $80 million in the coming seasons.

That’s highly unlikely. Would-be ticket buyers don’t seem eager to forgive Loria for cutting costs so quickly after occupying a stadium set to cost taxpayers $2 billion over the next 40 years. Season-ticket sales have fallen by 60 percent to around 5,000, and the Marlins recently became the only major league team using Groupon to sell seats for Opening Day, according to the online discounter.

“Fans really put their emotions into the 2012 season, and they really got hurt,’’ said Michael Jong, a 26-year-old writer for the independent Marlins blog Fish Stripes, and a fan of the team since he went to a 1997 baseball-themed birthday party at what was then called Pro Player Stadium. “They thought things were going to change.”

A review of 10 years worth of Marlins financial statements illustrates the predicament now facing the team. Since Loria bought the Marlins in 2002, boosting the payroll has failed to bring the spike in ticket revenue needed to turn a profit. Only when he slashed player costs did the team record a cash surplus, according to the records.

A source with access to the Marlins’ audited financial statements allowed a Miami Herald reporter to review them and a 10-year summary of the reports during one two-hour session. The reporter could take notes but not make copies of the documents, meaning a thorough examination of the accounting and fine-print was not possible.

The review did identify some key financial metrics the team has not revealed before, including yearly revenue from tickets, payroll costs and how the team borrowed and paid down debt.

Before 2012, the team’s worst year financially in the Loria era was also its best on the field: 2003, when the underdog Marlins managed to beat the New York Yankees in the World Series.

By the end of that championship season, the Marlins posted an operating loss of $43 million — due in part to attendance that was the third-worst in the Major Leagues. Ticket revenue rose the following year as the Marlins charged more and cut back on discounts, but attendance inched up just one notch to fourth-worst in baseball.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/03/31/3315626/the-financial-mess-at-marlins.html#storylink=cpy

Kickback Moneyball is by far the biggest sport in government. It's impossible to stop these frauds against taxpayers. Government frauds from villages to enormous cities to Washington DC are the biggest diseases of "Democracy."

"Duke Begins Checking MBA Applications for Plagiarism," by Erin Ziomek, Bloomberg Businessweek, April 12, 2013 ---

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business is the latest MBA program to report using plagiarism detection software to check applicant essays during the admissions process. It’s the highest-ranked program by Bloomberg Businessweek to come forward about using the service.

Fuqua rejected one applicant for “blatant plagiarism” but was cautious about turning away others because the 2012-13 school year was a pilot period for using IParadigms’ Turnitin detection system, the school said. No details on the rejected applicant were available.

“We chose to review a large number of applications to understand what threshold would be appropriate to use in the future to investigate for plagiarism,” Liz Riley Hargrove, Fuqua’s associate dean for admissions, said in an e-mail. ”We are still in the process of fine-tuning the system and understanding what the scores mean and how we will leverage it next year and what our investigative process will be.”

Riley Hargrove says the school had received information that led the admissions team to believe some applicants did not write their essays. There’s no way “to catch every single thing that’s been manufactured, but we thought this was one step we could take to help,” she says.

UCLA’s Anderson School of Management has rejected about 115 applicants on the grounds of plagiarized admissions essays since it began using Turnitin heading into the 2011-12 school year. Penn State’s Smeal College of Business has denied about 87 since 2009 for the same offense.

Other Turnitin users include the business schools at Wake Forest University and Northeastern University. Most schools don’t disclose that they are using the service, however, and the company keeps its client roster private.

UCLA has consistently found that about 2 percent of its MBA applicants plagiarize their essays and has traced lifted passages back to the websites of nonprofit organizations as well as websites that advertise free essays or help with editing essays. The school expects that pattern to continue into its third application round this year, which means it may find additional cases of plagiarism before fall.

“Potential” cases of plagiarism at Northeastern’s business school were expected to double to about 100 cases by April 15, Evelyn Tate, the school’s director of graduate recruitment and admissions, told Bloomberg Businessweek in February.

For the 2012-13 school year, Penn State’s Smeal reports that 40 applicants were flagged for plagiarizing essays, representing about 8 percent of its applicant pool.

“Over the years it just feels like there is a lot of pressure among applicants to manage perfect essays,” says Duke’s Riley Hargrove. “This felt like the right thing to do.”

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism ---

What is the monumental difference between the  Countrywide “Hustle” fraud versus the far worse Bob JeSunTrust “Shortcut” fraud?

After receiving credible whistleblower evidence, it appear that the former SEC Director may have fumbled the ball in both case in a way that made the Madoff whistle blower SEC fumble look like small change.

"Note to New S.E.C. Chief: The Clock Is Ticking," by Gretchen Morganson. The New York Times, April 13, 2013 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on the subprime mortgage sleaze ---


7.0 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes China," Business Insider, April 19, 2013 ---

"7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Iran — Felt Throughout Multiple Countries," Business Insider, April 16, 2013 ---

Jensen Comment
Shocks were felt around the world, especially along the Pacific Rim.
See the map.

The Digital Public Library of America Launches Today (April 18, 2013), Opening Up Knowledge for All ---

More on how to lie with statistics, tables, and graphs
"Did Reinhart-Rogoff Screw Up Their Debt Research?" by Barry Ritholtz, April 16th, 2013 ---

"Reinhart, Rogoff, and How the Macroeconomic Sausage Is Made," by Justin Fox, Harvard Business Review Blog, April 17, 2013 --- Click Here

After watching a presentation by Kaggle founder and CEO Anthony Goldbloom at a conference last year, I went up to the front of the room to ask him a question about macroeconomics.

Kaggle organizes competitions in which data scientists (which in most cases means anybody who wants to sign up) compete to build predictive models based on huge troves of data. Goldbloom founded the company after working as a macroeconomic modeler at the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Treasury.

"Could you use the Kaggle approach to make macroeconomic predictions?" I asked him.

"No," he replied. "Not nearly enough data."

I couldn't help but think back to that as controversy erupted this week over Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff's oft-cited three-year-old finding that economic growth plummets when a country's debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds 90%. Three University of Massachusetts economists — Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash, and Robert Pollin — came out with a working paper that recrunched the Reinhart and Rogoff data set and arrived at a very different result: instead of average -0.1% growth in countries with debt/GDP of more than 90%, they came up with 2.2% growth.

Most of the attention since then has focused on an Excel error that Herndon, Ash, and Pollin found — which caused five countries to be excluded from the analysis — and Reinhart and Rogoff have subsequently acknowledged. That's pretty embarrassing, but it only changed the result by 0.3 percentage points. Most of the difference had to do instead with how Reinhart and Rogoff weighted the results from different countries. They chose to give each country's average growth in a particular debt/GDP range the same weight, regardless of how many years the country had been in that situation. As Herndon-Ash-Pollin write, this isn't an indefensible approach (they do argue that Reinhart and Rogoff should have devoted a lot more ink to defending it). But by taking a different approach, and instead weighting countries' results by how many years they were above 90% debt/GDP, they were able to get a very different result.

This is watching the sausage of macroeconomics being made. It's not appetizing. Seemingly small choices in how to handle the data deliver dramatically different results. And it's not hard to see why: The Reinhart-Rogoff data set, according to Herndon-Ash-Pollin's analysis, contained just 110 "country-years" of debt/GDP over 90%, and 63 of those come from just three countries: Belgium, Greece, and the UK.

This is a problem inherent to macroeconomics. It's not like an experiment that one can run multiple times, or observations that can be compared across millions of individuals or even hundreds of corporations. In the words attributed to economist Paul Samuelson, "We have but one sample of history." And it's just not a very big sample.

So what to do about it? One response is to dig for more data, and Reinhart and Rogoff have been doing that, going back to 1800 to examine episodes of public debt overhangs. Another is to have different people crunch it in different ways, which is what Herndon-Ash-Pollin did, or assemble different data sets, as several other scholars have done.

But the biggest challenge may be how to present it. My reading of Reinhart-Rogoff, Herndon-Ash-Pollin, and the other papers linked to in the preceding paragraph is that rising debt loads do weigh on growth. Yes, there's causation at work in both directions: low growth results in bigger debts — which has clearly been the case in the U.S. over the past couple of years. But attempts to separate that effect out by looking at growth rates well after a spike in debt do indicate slower growth after higher debt. And for economists of every school but so-called modern monetary theory, it's logical that big debts would eventually eat up resources and slow growth.

What there isn't, though, is an obvious tipping point where debt becomes too high, and deficit spending becomes a drag rather than a stimulus. At least not one that's obvious before the fact. The initial Reinhart-Rogoff research seemed to indicate a sharp dropoff in average growth after debt passed 90% of GDP. But they also reported a significantly smaller dropoff in median growth, and their subsequent analyses, as well as the Herndon-Ash-Pollin rework of their data, similarly show a dropoff but not a dramatic inflection point.

In the 1990s, the consensus seemed to be that for the U.S. the inflection point was a public debt/GDP ratio of 50% — which is exactly what the country was nearing at the time. Higher than that, and the bond market vigilantes would punish the U.S. with much higher interest rates on government debt. The central teaching of what came to be known as Rubinomics was that cutting the deficit would actually stimulate the economy as it brought interest rates down.

Now, of course, U.S. public debt is up to 76% of GDP, yet the bond market vigilantes all seem to have retired or moved to Europe. In the long aftermath of a global financial crisis, with deflation a real threat, the U.S. can get away with running huge deficits with no immediate consequence. In fact, the Keynesian reasoning goes, big deficits now will lead to a better long run growth picture (and thus lower future debt/GDP ratios).

Is this reasoning correct? Well, right now the evidence would seem to support it: The U.S. is muddling through, while austerity measures have pushed Europe back into recession and most of Southern Europe into depression. For whatever it's worth, Reinhart and Rogoff have advocated continued deficit spending too — at least for now.

But this is macroeconomics. It's hard to muster conclusive evidence, and almost impossible to generate much in the way of useful predictive ability. One response to this fog would be to throw up our hands and not do anything at all. Another is to acknowledge that our knowledge is limited and proceed anyway on a mix of data, theory, and intuition.

This, to a certain extent, is what the Reinhart-Rogoff project of the past few years (most notably their book This Time is Different) has been all about. It's a combination of history, data-crunching, and informed opinion — intended to be consumed and debated by an audience of far beyond academic macroeconomics. Which is exactly what's happening now. That can't be a bad thing, can it?

Continued in article

"How much of Reinhart/Rogoff has survived?" by Gavyn Davies, Financial Times, April 19, 2013 ---

. . .

However, if the economy is working well below capacity, a rise in the budget deficit may not raise interest rates, but may instead raise aggregate demand and thus boost GDP growth. Under some circumstances, this might even reduce the debt ratio for a while.

In summary, the most dramatic version of the RR stylised fact is no longer a stylised fact. RR were right to argue that, over most normal periods, higher public debt has been associated with lower real GDP growth rates, but a sudden discontinuity at 90 per cent is not proven. Furthermore, causation might work in both directions, depending on economic circumstances. The timing of these effects is not a definitive indicator of true causation, and the relationship may be very different in a time of full employment from a time of high unemployment.

The moral of this story is that it is an illusion to expect that the complicated relationship between public debt and GDP growth will always and everywhere be the same.


What is the difference between traditional competency-based course credits and "decoupled" competency-based course credits?

In traditional competency-based systems an instructor either does not assign course grades or does so based solely on examinations that cannot be linked to particular students in a way where knowing a student can affect the final grade. Course grades are generally not influenced by class discussions (onsite or in online chat rooms), homework, term papers, course projects, team performance, etc. In many instances the instructors do not even prepare the examinations that determine competency-based grades.

Western Governors University --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Governors_University
WGU was one of the universities in modern times (since 1997) to offer fully accredited online courses using a competency-based grading system. However, students must participate in WGU courses and do class assignments for courses before they can take the competency-based examinations.

Southern New Hampshire University (a private onsite university that is not funded by the State of New Hampshire) ---

Capella University --- http://www.capella.edu/

Kentucky Community and Technical College System --- http://www.kctcs.edu/

"Credit Without Teaching," by Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed, April 22, 2013 ---

Earlier this year Capella University and the new College for America began enrolling hundreds of students in academic programs without courses, teaching professors, grades, deadlines or credit hour requirements, but with a path to genuine college credit.

The two institutions are among a growing number that are giving competency-based education a try, including 25 or so nonprofit institutions. Notable examples include Western Governors University and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

These programs are typically online, and allow students to progress at their own pace without formal course material. They can earn credit by successfully completing assessments that prove their mastery in predetermined competencies or tasks -- maybe writing in a business setting or using a spreadsheet to perform calculations.

College for America and a small pilot program at Capella go a step further than the others, however, by severing any link to the credit hour standard. This approach is called “direct assessment.” Other competency-based programs track learning back to seat time under the credit hour, which assumes one hour of instruction and three hours of coursework per week. (For more details from College for America, click here.)

Continued in article

In "decoupled" course credit systems, a university that usually offers competency-based courses where class attendance or online course participation is not required. Students can learn the material from any sources, including free online learning modules, before signing up to take the competency-based examinations. Sometimes more than one "progress" competency-based examination may be required. But no particular course is required before taking any competency-based examination.

Decoupled systems become a lot like the Uniform CPA Examination where there are multiple parts of the examination that may be passed in stages or passed in one computer-based sitting.

Southern New Hampshire University (a private onsite university that is not funded by the State of New Hampshire) ---

SNHU claims to be the first university to decouple courses from competency-based examinations. However, I'm not certain that this claim is true since the University of Wisconsin System may have been the first to offer some decoupled competency-based degree programs..The University of Akron now has some similar alternatives.

Wisconsin System's Competency-Based Degrees as of November 28, 2012 ---

"College Degree, No Class Time Required University of Wisconsin to Offer a Bachelor's to Students Who Take Online Competency Tests About What They Know," by Caroline Porter, The Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2013 --- "

It is expected that students seeking decoupled competency-based credits will sign up for learning modules from various free learning systems.
Listing of Sites for Free Courses and Learning Modules (unlike certificates, transferrable credits are never free) ---


"Competency-Based Education Advances With U.S. Approval of Program," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 18, 2013 --- Click Here

Last month the U.S. Education Department sent a message to colleges: Financial aid may be awarded based on students’ mastery of “competencies” rather than their accumulation of credits. That has major ramifications for institutions hoping to create new education models that don’t revolve around the amount of time that students spend in class.

Now one of those models has cleared a major hurdle. The Education Department has approved the eligibility of Southern New Hampshire University to receive federal financial aid for students enrolled in a new, self-paced online program called College for America, the private, nonprofit university has announced.

Southern New Hampshire bills its College for America program as “the first degree program to completely decouple from the credit hour.” Unlike the typical experience in which students advance by completing semester-long, multicredit courses, students in College for America have no courses or traditional professors. These working-adult students make progress toward an associate degree by demonstrating mastery of 120 competencies. Competencies are phrased as “can do” statements, such as “can use logic, reasoning, and analysis to address a business problem” or “can analyze works of art in terms of their historical and cultural contexts.”

Students show mastery of skills by completing tasks. In one task, for example, students are asked to study potential works of art for a museum exhibit about the changing portrayal of human bodies throughout history. To guide the students, Southern New Hampshire points them to a series of free online resources, such as “Smarthistory” videos presented by Khan Academy. Students must summarize what they’ve found by creating a PowerPoint presentation that could be delivered to a museum director.

Completed tasks are shipped out for evaluation to a pool of part-time adjunct professors, who quickly assess the work and help students understand what they need to do to improve. Southern New Hampshire also assigns “coaches” to students to help them establish their goals and pace. In addition, the university asks students to pick someone they know as an “accountability partner” who checks in with them and nudges them along.

Students gain access to the program through their employers. Several companies have set up partnerships with Southern New Hampshire to date, including Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and ConAgra Foods.

The Education Department is grappling with how to promote innovation while preventing financial-aid abuses. Southern New Hampshire, whose $2,500-a-year program was established last year with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has served as a guinea pig in that process. But other institutions are lining up behind it, hoping to obtain financial aid for programs that don’t hinge on credit hours.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
In many ways this USNH program reduces the costs of student admission and of offering remedial programs to get students up to speed to enroll in USNH courses on campus.

But there are enormous drawbacks
In some courses the most important learning comes from student interactions, team projects, and most importantly case discussions. In the Harvard Business School, master case teachers often cannot predict the serendipitous way each class will proceed since the way it proceeds often depends upon comments made in class by students. In some courses the most important learning takes place in research projects. How do you have a competency-based speech course?

Time and time again, CPA firms have learned that the best employees are not always medal winners on the CPA examination. For example, years and years ago a medal winner on occasion only took correspondence courses. And in some of those instances the medal winner did not perform well on the job in part because the interactive and team skills were lacking that in most instances are part of onsite and online education.

Note that distance education courses that are well done require student interactions and often team projects. It is not necessary to acquire such skills face-to-face. It is necessary, however, to require such interactions in a great distance education course.

A USNH College for America accounting graduate may not be allowed to sit for the CPA examination in some states, especially Texas. Texas requires a least 15 credits be taken onsite face-to-face in traditional courses on campus. Actually I cannot find where an accounting degree is even available from the USNH College for America degree programs.

"Report: Apple returned 8 million shoddy iPhones to Foxconn," by Simon Sharwood, The Register, April 22, 2013 ---

. . .

With a cost to manufacture of $US200 apiece, Foxconn is apparently preparing to take a hit of up to $1.6bn to cover the cost of making replacement handsets. China Business suggests the cost of making new iPhones represents further bad news, not a reason for Foxconn's recently-revealed financial woes.

China Business is silent on which model of iPhone failed Apple's quality tests. If it's the current iPhone 5, or the still-on-sale 4S, the impact of eight million phones failing to appear would punch a two-or-three-week hole in Apple's supply chain, an assertion we make on the basis that the company says it sold 47.8m handsets in its last quarter. That quarter included Christmas, so we can safely assume the January-March quarter sees a little less handset-selling action.

If the botched phone is a newer-and-as-yet-unreleased handset, it could be grounds for a delay in its announcement or release.

"Your Next Big Security Headache: Your Wireless Router," by Antone Gonsalves, ReadWriteWeb, April 16, 2013 ---

Jensen Comment
Take a look at this one. It's bad news if you, like me, have a wireless system at home.

Bob Jensen's neglected threads on computing and networking security ---

Listing of Sites for Free Courses and Learning Modules (unlike certificates, transferable credits are never free) ---

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education and training sites ---
Transcript credits are never free and on occasion universities charge more for online credits than onsite credits earned on campus

Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence --- https://www.schreyerinstitute.psu.edu/

National Endowment for the Arts: Podcasts, Webcasts & Webinars --- http://www.nea.gov/podweb/podCMS/podlist.php

State of America's Libraries 2013 --- http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/33759128#/33759128/1

Ibiblio (library science tutorials and resources) ---  http://www.ibiblio.org/

Possible Texas Law:  Include class average grade alongside each student's transcript grade
A grade of A no longer looks so good if the average grade for the class was a grade of A
A grade of B is shown to be below average

"Higher Education Revalued," by Thomas K. Lindsay, Education News, April 16, 2013 ---
Thank you Chuck Pier for the heads up.

Grade inflation is real, rampant, and ravaging a university near you. It would be a scandal if more people knew about it.

A bill filed in March in the Texas legislature looks to ensure that more do. Called “Honest Transcript,” it is a model of brevity, at only a little more than 300 words. Yet its sponsors expect it to shake up higher education in the state and beyond. They believe that when the public gets wind of higher education’s widespread grade-inflating practices, it will put a stop to them. Others, less hopeful, think that public transparency will merely reveal public indifference.

The bill would require all public colleges and universities to include on student transcripts, alongside the individual student’s grade, the average grade for the entire class. This would help potential employers determine whether a high grade-point average signified talent and achievement or merely revealed that the student had taken easy courses.

The Honest Transcript bill was introduced in the Texas house by Republican Scott Turner, a freshman representative and former NFL cornerback (Redskins, Chargers, Broncos), and in the state senate by veteran Republican Dan Patrick. Supporters argue that its modest transparency requirement would show how grade inflation has severely degraded the significance of college degrees.

A half-century of grade inflation has been demonstrated repeatedly by national studies. Today, an A is the most common grade given in college — 43 percent of all grades, as opposed to 15 percent in the 1960s, according to Stuart Rojstaczer, formerly of Duke, and Christopher Healy, of Furman, who conducted a 50-year survey of grading. Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, has also studied the trajectory of college grades. He finds that in 1969, 7 percent of two- and four-year college students said their GPA was an A-minus or higher; by 2009, 41 percent of students did. Having been either a college student, a professor, or an administrator for nearly 30 years, I am not surprised by such findings. Nor, I suspect, is anyone else in the academy. And neither are employers. People who make hiring decisions here in Texas complain to me that grade inflation makes it virtually impossible to rank job applicants accurately, because nearly all have A or B averages.

It gets worse. A 2011 national study published as the book Academically Adrift, by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, found that our puffed-up prodigies are learning much too little. Thirty-six percent of the students it surveyed show little or no increase in their ability for critical thinking, complex reasoning, and clear writing after four years of college. Small wonder that employers are frustrated, with the annual parade of impressive transcripts hiding empty heads.

Employer concerns notwithstanding, universities have a higher calling than simply preparing future workers. Almost all of them proclaim in their mission statements that they seek to enhance their students’ capacity for independent thought. In undermining this, their noblest calling (which harkens back to Socrates’ declaration that “the unexamined life is not worth living”), grade inflation is especially harmful: It eats away at the essence and morale of an academic institution. For Rojstaczer and Healy, “when college students perceive that the average grade in a class will be an A, they do not try to excel. It is likely that the decline in student study hours, student engagement, and literacy are partly the result of diminished academic expectations.”

This, then, is the academic reality whose veil the bill would lift: Too many students are learning too little, yet their grades have never been so high.

Will Texas universities oppose transcript transparency? It’s hard to imagine a principled basis for resistance, since universities are defined by the pursuit of knowledge and its dissemination to students and the larger society. Nevertheless, one university has complained to Representative Turner that the bill would create “processing difficulties in the Registrar’s office.”

This objection comes too late, for such “processing” is now the norm. Recently, through services such as MyEdu.com and internal school websites, students have been able to sift through the grading histories of professors. MyEdu proclaims that it “works directly with universities to post their official grade records, including average GPA and drop rates. Yes, really — these are the official grade records straight from your university.” It boasts a membership of over 800 schools and more than 5 million students. Its reach in Texas extends to nearly every public college and university.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I would prefer that the "average grade" be computed as the median grade since a few low grades could skew the mean downward.

Bob Jensen's threads on this biggest scandal in higher education that is driven largely by instructors fearing low teaching evaluations resulting from tougher grading ---

Limits of the iPhone Relative to Android
"Facebook Now We Know Why Facebook Went With Android—Its New iPhone App Shows Apple'sLimits," by Nick Stat, ReadWriteWeb, April 16, 2013 ---

Remember those tiresome and frequent adds on television from "The Scooter Store"

"Scooter Store Files For Bankruptcy After Overbilling Medicare At Least $47 Million," by Laura Northrup, Consumerist, April 15, 2013 ---

If you watch daytime TV or have been stuck watching daytime TV while visiting your parents, surely you’re familiar with The Scooter Store. The power wheelchair vendor has had some trouble lately, including accusations of Medicare and Medicaid fraud, a raid by the FBI, and even a lawsuit from the company’s hometown, of New Braunfels, Texas. The company laid off most of its employees, and plans to deal directly with health care providers, rather than blanketing the airwaves and selling directly to consumers.

Those investigations came after a a scathing investigative piece by CBS News about the company.  (Warning: the video at that link plays automatically.) Former salesmen and doctors who prescribed chairs in the past explained the company’s tactics: contact doctors’ offices incessantly to wear them down and convince them to prescribe scooters and power chairs whether the patient really needed one or not, and to depend on bureaucratic incompetence and error to get them approved by Medicare and Medicaid.

That got the attention of the federal government, and led to a raid by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The company’s CEO insists that The Scooter Store itself wasn’t accused of fraud. Just a few weeks later, the company furloughed all employees, then permanently laid off about 1,000.

An independent audit found that the company had overbilled Medicare and Medicaid somewhere between $46.8 million and $87.7 million. The company had agreed to pay back $19.5 million. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is one of the largest creditors listed in the company’s bankruptcy petition, which details about $50 million in debt.

Just a few short years ago, in 2009, the city of New Braunfels gave the Scooter Store economic development money to convert a former Kroger store into their sparkling new headquarters. On Friday, the city filed a lawsuit to to get $2.6 million of that money back.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Milking Medicare and Medicaid seems to be the rule rather than the exception.

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates ---


Besides Users, Who Checks on Widipedia Modules?

Too Much of a Good Thing
"U. of Toronto Class Assignment Backfires in Clash on Wikipedia," by Nick Santis, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2013 --- Click Here

A University of Toronto professor’s assignment that asked students to add content to Wikipedia backfired when a contingent of the Web site’s volunteer editors began raising concerns about the raft of new contributions, according to the Canadian Press.

The professor, Steve Joordens, had asked the 1,900 students in his introductory-psychology course to add information to relevant Wikipedia pages, in an effort to improve the site and to teach the students about sharing information. But the new contributions alarmed a group of Wikipedia’s editors, who said the additions came from individuals who did not possess the relevant expertise.

Some community members raised concerns that the contributions had been plagiarized, and others called the assignment an unnecessary burden on the site’s editors. Mr. Joordens defended his students, saying that only a small fraction of their contributions had been flagged for problems, the news service reported.

A spokesman for the foundation that operates Wikipedia told the news service that the professor had had some preliminary discussions with the site’s leaders before carrying out the assignment, which the spokesman described as “experimental.” He said the Wikipedia community’s fast response is one of the factors that makes the site attractive to educators.

The professor said he would limit the number of students who take on such assignments in the future and make sure that they’re familiar with the site’s editing practices.

You might want to read the FAQs at
This includes the Following:

Everyone can use Wikipedia's work with a few conditions

Wikipedia has taken a cue from the free software community (which includes projects like GNU, Linux and Mozilla Firefox) and has done away with traditional copyright restrictions on our content. Instead, we've adopted what is known as a "free content license" (specifically, a choice between the CC-BY-SA and the GFDL): all text and composition created by our users is and will always remain free for anyone to copy, modify, and redistribute. We only insist that you credit the contributors and that you do not impose new restrictions on the work or on any improvements you make to it. Many of the images, videos, and other media on the site are also under free licenses, or in the public domain. Just check a file's description page to see its licensing terms.


Then if you really want to be confused read my threads on the DMCA ---

Note that I am not a copyright lawyer, But in my humble opinion there's a huge difference between reproducing parts of works by commercial authors versus non-commercial authors. In the case of non-commercial authors like myself copyright holders almost always contact these authors to cease and desist without commencing frightful lawsuits. There are millions of quotations at my Website and only twice did somebody ask me to remove quotations. One was a a guy cleared of fraud charges who no longer wanted  newspaper quotations on the Web linking his name with allegations of fraud. The other was a woman who thought my quotations of her work were too long. After I removed them, however, she politely contacted me requesting that I put them back into my Web pages.

I do follow certain personal guidelines. I rarely quote an entire piece without permission. Yeah there are times when I quote very short newspaper items like editorial opinions in their entirety, but the WSJ never seems to mind.

There are some things that cannot be reproduced in part such as cartoons. I generally avoid putting cartoons at my Website. Those that you find an my Website were copied with permission. I'm not quite so fussy about personal email messages where I do forward cartoons, but if I'm going to put them into a Web server I become much more cautious.

As a rule copyright holders cannot prevent you from quoting their published works as long as the quotations are short in length. One of the main reasons is that authors cannot use copyright law to put their works above criticism. Sometimes it's really not effective to criticize a work without quoting some parts of that work.

Audio and video reproductions have their own complications. Generally the DMCA allows 30 second reproductions without having to seek permission in every instance. This allows radio and television shows to reproduce short blurbs without having to seek permission in every instance. But the DMCA makes exceptions if the particular 30 seconds is the only part of great value in the entire piece such as a few seconds of video of a Dallas parade showing the bullet passing through the head of President Kennedy.

Lastly writers like me should beware of becoming too complacent about getting away with long quotations. It's a little like overstating deductions to charities on a tax return. Just because you get away with such overstatements annually for 40 years does not make it legal. Also just because copyright holders do not complain about my lengthy quotations does not mean that I've not set a bad example for others to follow.

On the other hand, I've also encountered others who become overly cautious about copyright laws. I view them as drivers education teachers who never exceed 45 miles per hour on an Interstate highway. They set a bad example, especially for their drivers education students, even if what they do is perfectly legal.


Bob Jensen's threads on Wikipedia checking ---


Screencast --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screencast

I flipped my classrooms largely by preparing hundreds of short Camtasia how-to video on technical aspects of my accounting theory and AIS courses --- especially on technical aspects of FAS 133 and MS Access relational database accounitng. My students just were not getting some of this technical I explained in class, and I grew weary repeating the same material over and over and over again in my office. The Camtasia videos were a huge relief to my students and me. They could play each Camtasia video repeatedly until they mastered the topic. I rarely had to explain those topics during office hours when Camtasia explanations were available to students.

The Camtasia videos also meant I did not have to devote so much class time to teaching technical procedures. This made more free time for class quizzes to verify that students were really mastering those technical opics.

"Data on whether and how students watch screencasts," by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 4, 2013 --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's screencasting helpers ---

This may flip you out!
"New TED-Ed Site Turns YouTube Videos Into ‘Flipped’ Lessons," by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 25, 2012 ---

YouTube holds a rich trove of videos that could be used in the classroom, but it’s challenging to transform videos into a truly interactive part of a lesson. So the nonprofit group TED has unveiled a new Web site that it hopes will solve this problem—by organizing educational videos and letting professors “flip” them to enhance their lectures.

The new Web site, unveiled today, lets professors turn TED’s educational videos—as well as any video on YouTube—into interactive lessons inspired by the “flipped” classroom model. The site’s introduction is the second phase of an education-focused effort called TED-Ed, which began last month when the group released a series of highly produced, animated videos on a new YouTube channel.

The TED-Ed site is both a portal for finding education videos and a tool for flipping them. On one page, videos are organized by themes, such as the pursuit of happiness and inventions that shaped history. Instructors who want to use videos that are directly related to the subjects they teach can visit another page, where videos are organized in more traditional categories such as the arts and health.

TED’s videos are displayed on lesson pages that include multiple-choice quizzes, open-ended questions, and links to more information about the material. Professors who don’t want to rely on the premade content can press a button to flip the videos and customize some of the questions. With each flipped video, professors receive a unique Web link that they can use to distribute the lesson to students and track their answers.

And instructors don’t have to rely only on TED’s educational videos to make their lessons. A special tool can flip any video on YouTube, adding sections to a lesson page where professors can write free-form questions and create links to other resources.

Logan Smalley, TED-Ed’s director, noted that this feature is truly open—instructors could flip viral videos of cats if they wanted to, he said. He said his group wanted to leave the possibilities of flipped videos up to the people building the lessons.

“We didn’t want to limit what people might want to use to teach,” he said. He added that designers provide a way for users to flag any published lesson that they feel is inappropriate.

Michael S. Garver, a professor of marketing at Central Michigan University, has been testing the site and called it a tool to improve teaching that will bring more voices into the classroom. For the last seven years, Mr. Garver has been making his own videos, and he said the site will allow professors to turn videos created by experts into fresh lessons for class discussions.

“It’s kind of a way to showcase the talent around the country,” he said.

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---

Year's ago Ray Kurxweil appeared on the then very, very popular TV show called "I've Got a Secret" ---

Probably the best way to get an idea about futurist Ray Kurzweil is to search for his name on YouTube ---

"Will Google's Ray Kurzweil Live Forever? In 15 years, the famous inventor expects medical technology will add a year of life expectancy every year," by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., The Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2013 ---

Ray Kurzweil must encounter his share of interviewers whose first question is: What do you hope your obituary will say?

This is a trick question. Mr. Kurzweil famously hopes an obituary won't be necessary. And in the event of his unexpected demise, he is widely reported to have signed a deal to have himself frozen so his intelligence can be revived when technology is equipped for the job.

Mr. Kurzweil is the closest thing to a Thomas Edison of our time, an inventor known for inventing. He first came to public attention in 1965, at age 17, appearing on Steve Allen's TV show "I've Got a Secret" to demonstrate a homemade computer he built to compose original music in the style of the great masters.

In the five decades since, he has invented technologies that permeate our world. To give one example, the Web would hardly be the store of human intelligence it has become without the flatbed scanner and optical character recognition, allowing printed materials from the pre-digital age to be scanned and made searchable.

If you are a musician, Mr. Kurzweil's fame is synonymous with his line of music synthesizers (now owned by Hyundai). As in: "We're late for the gig. Don't forget the Kurzweil."

If you are blind, his Kurzweil Reader relieved one of your major disabilities—the inability to read printed information, especially sensitive private information, without having to rely on somebody else.

In January, he became an employee at Google GOOG -0.04% . "It's my first job," he deadpans, adding after a pause, "for a company I didn't start myself."

There is another Kurzweil, though—the one who makes seemingly unbelievable, implausible predictions about a human transformation just around the corner. This is the Kurzweil who tells me, as we're sitting in the unostentatious offices of Kurzweil Technologies in Wellesley Hills, Mass., that he thinks his chances are pretty good of living long enough to enjoy immortality. This is the Kurzweil who, with a bit of DNA and personal papers and photos, has made clear he intends to bring back in some fashion his dead father.

Mr. Kurzweil's frank efforts to outwit death have earned him an exaggerated reputation for solemnity, even caused some to portray him as a humorless obsessive. This is wrong. Like the best comedians, especially the best Jewish comedians, he doesn't tell you when to laugh. Of the pushback he receives from certain theologians who insist death is necessary and ennobling, he snarks, "Oh, death, that tragic thing? That's really a good thing."

"People say, 'Oh, only the rich are going to have these technologies you speak of.' And I say, 'Yeah, like cellphones.' "

To listen to Mr. Kurzweil or read his several books (the latest: "How to Create a Mind") is to be flummoxed by a series of forecasts that hardly seem realizable in the next 40 years. But this is merely a flaw in my brain, he assures me. Humans are wired to expect "linear" change from their world. They have a hard time grasping the "accelerating, exponential" change that is the nature of information technology.

"A kid in Africa with a smartphone is walking around with a trillion dollars of computation circa 1970s," he says. Project that rate forward, and everything will change dramatically in the next few decades.

"I'm right on the cusp," he adds. "I think some of us will make it through"—he means baby boomers, who can hope to experience practical immortality if they hang on for another 15 years.

By then, Mr. Kurzweil expects medical technology to be adding a year of life expectancy every year. We will start to outrun our own deaths. And then the wonders really begin. The little computers in our hands that now give us access to all the world's information via the Web will become little computers in our brains giving us access to all the world's information. Our world will become a world of near-infinite, virtual possibilities.

How will this work? Right now, says Mr. Kurzweil, our human brains consist of 300 million "pattern recognition" modules. "That's a large number from one perspective, large enough for humans to invent language and art and science and technology. But it's also very limiting. Maybe I'd like a billion for three seconds, or 10 billion, just the way I might need a million computers in the cloud for two seconds and can access them through Google."

We will have vast new brainpower at our disposal; we'll also have a vast new field in which to operate—virtual reality. "As you go out to the 2040s, now the bulk of our thinking is out in the cloud. The biological portion of our brain didn't go away but the nonbiological portion will be much more powerful. And it will be uploaded automatically the way we back up everything now that's digital."

"When the hardware crashes," he says of humanity's current condition, "the software dies with it. We take that for granted as human beings." But when most of our intelligence, experience and identity live in cyberspace, in some sense (vital words when thinking about Kurzweil predictions) we will become software and the hardware will be replaceable.

Which brings us to his father, a gifted musician and composer whose early death from heart disease left a profound mark on Mr. Kurzweil. Understand: He is not talking about growing a biological person in a test-tube and requiring him to be Dad. "DNA is just one kind of information," Mr. Kurzweil says. So are the documents his father left behind, and the memories residing in the brains of friends and family. In the virtual world that's coming, it will be possible to assemble an avatar more like his father than his father ever was—exactly the father Mr. Kurzweil remembers.

"My work on this project right now is to maintain these files," he adds, referring to Dad's memorabilia.

Mr. Kurzweil grew up in Queens, N.Y., and went to MIT. Looking back on his inventions, a common theme since that first music composer has been pattern recognition—which he believes is the essence of human thinking and the essence of the better-than-human artificially-enhanced intelligence that we are evolving toward.

The same work now continues at Google. Last July, Mr. Kurzweil was hunting investors for a new project. He pitched Google co-founder Larry Page. Mr. Page's response was to ask why Mr. Kurzweil didn't pursue his project inside Google, since Google controlled resources that Mr. Kurzweil surely would not be able to replicate outside. "Larry was actually more low-key and subtle than that," Mr. Kurzweil says now, "but that's how I interpreted the pitch. And he was right."

To wit, the knowledge graph—Google's map of billions of Web objects and concepts, and the billions of relationships among them—would be immeasurably handy to Mr. Kurzweil's ambition to recreate human-style pattern recognition, especially as it relates to language, in computers. The two agreed on a one-sentence job description: "to bring natural language understanding to Google."

Mr. Kurzweil and his Google team will be tackling a project begun by IBM's IBM -0.72% Watson, which fed its brain by reading Wikipedia. What Watson understood is hard to say, but—helped by brute processing power—Watson was famously able to beat all-time "Jeopardy" champions to intuit that, for instance, "a tiresome speech delivered by a frothy pie topping" was a "meringue harangue."

Mr. Kurzweil's goal is to enable Google's search engine to read, hear and understand human semantics. "The idea is to create a system that's expert in everything it has read and make that expertise available to the world," he says.

Mr. Kurzweil, at age 65, claims he has become just another Googler living in San Francisco and "riding the Google bus to work every day." But his employer also wants him to remain a "world thought leader"—a term not so grandiose as it seems when you consider all the Davos-type pontificators who exercise global influence without having hatched an original thought.

Continued in article

Jensen Links to Ray Kurweil
Ray Kurzweil, Father Of The Singularity, Is Going To Work At Google ---

Ray Kurzweil, Futurist: 10 Questions About What’s Coming Next (Technology) --- Click Here

Speeding Up Evolution:  Implanting microprocessors in the biological brain
"Brave New World: the Evolution of Mind in the Twenty-first Century," by Ray Kurzweil
http://www.kurzweiltech.com/WIRED/#THE GROWTH OF COMPUTING 

What does it mean to evolve? Evolution moves towards greater complexity, greater elegance, greater intelligence, greater beauty, greater creativity, greater love. And God has been called all these things, only without any limitation: infinite intelligence, infinite beauty, infinite creativity, and infinite love. Evolution does not achieve an infinite level, but as it explodes exponentially, it certainly moves in that direction. So evolution moves inexorably towards our conception of God. Thus the freeing of our thinking from the severe limitations of its biological form is an essential spiritual quest.

By the second half of this next century, there will be no clear distinction between human and machine intelligence. On the one hand, we will have biological brains vastly expanded through distributed nanobot-based implants. On the other, we will have fully nonbiological brains that are copies of human brains, albeit also vastly extended. And we will have a myriad of other varieties of intimate connection between human thinking and the technology it has fostered.

Ultimately, nonbiological intelligence will dominate because it is growing at a double exponential rate, whereas for all practical purposes biological intelligence is at a standstill. By the end of the twenty-first century, nonbiological thinking will be trillions of trillions of times more powerful than that of its biological progenitors, although still of human origin. It will continue to be the human-machine civilization taking the next step in evolution.

Before the next century is over, the Earth’s technology-creating species will merge with its computational technology. After all, what is the difference between a human brain enhanced a trillion fold by nanobot-based implants, and a computer whose design is based on high resolution scans of the human brain, and then extended a trillion-fold?

Most forecasts of the future seem to ignore the revolutionary impact of the inevitable emergence of computers that match and ultimately vastly exceed the capabilities of the human brain, a development that will be no less important than the evolution of human intelligence itself some thousands of centuries ago.

Ray Kurzweil is the author of: the following books and tapes:

"The Next Economic Revolution," by Alex Planes, Financial Education Daily, November 23, 2011 ---

"When Computers Beat Humans on Jeopardy Artificial intelligence is developing much more rapidly than most of us realize," by Ray Kurzweil, The Wall Street Journal, February 17, 2011 ---

Over the past three days,the TV show "Jeopardy!" featured a showdown between a clever IBM computer system called Watson and the two greatest "Jeopardy!" champions. Watson won handily. It won the preliminary practice round, tied Monday's opening round, and won by large margins on Tuesday and Wednesday. The point has been made: Watson can compete at the championship level—and is making it more difficult for anyone to argue that there are human tasks that computers will never achieve.

"Jeopardy!" involves understanding complexities of humor, puns, metaphors, analogies, ironies and other subtleties. Elsewhere, computers are advancing on many other fronts, from driverless cars (Google's cars have driven 140,000 miles through California cities and towns without human intervention) to the diagnosis of disease.

Watson runs on 90 computer servers, although it does not go out to the Internet. When will this capability be available on your PC? The ratio of computer price to performance is now doubling in less than a year, so 90 servers would become the equivalent of one server in about seven years, and the equivalent of one personal computer within a decade. However, with the growth in cloud computing—in which supercomputer capability is increasingly available to anyone via the Internet—Watson-like capability will actually be available to you much sooner.

Given this, I expect Watson-like "natural language processing" (the ability to "understand" ordinary English) to show up in Google, Bing and other search engines over the next five years.

With computers demonstrating a basic ability to understand human language, it's only a matter of time before they pass the famous "Turing test," in which "chatbot" programs compete to fool human judges into believing that they are human.

If Watson's underlying technology were applied to the Turing test, it would likely do pretty well. Consider the annual Loebner Prize competition, one version of the Turing test. Last year, the best chatbot contestant fooled the human judges 25% of the time.

Perhaps counterintuitively, Watson would have to dumb itself down in order to pass a Turing test. After all, if you were talking to someone over instant messaging and they seemed to know every detail of everything, you'd realize it was an artificial intelligence (AI).

A computer passing a properly designed Turing test would be operating at human levels. I, for one, would then regard it as human.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
But it truly is not a question of computer versus human. The beauty is that it is a question of human with the computer as a tool --- Hal 9000 is not here yet and probably will never be here until humans are extinct on earth and Hal is in outer space.

However, what we are probably not anticipating is how well we will one day be able to program creativity into the computer where eventually the computer will create original works of art, music, opera, ballet, literature, elegant (rather than brute-force) mathematical proofs, science experiments, aircraft designs, chess playing strategies, and even computers not yet conceived by humans.

I suspect that credit must be given to humans who can program creativity into a machine to a degree that it can invent things. The debate of "creativity" will one day boil down to a chicken versus the egg question.

Or put another way, when God says to the Devil "make your own dirt," can the "computer" truly create unless a human provides the "dirt?"

Undergraduate education programs and graduate schools of education have long been faulted for being too disconnected from the realities of practice.
Jal Mehta, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Undergraduate education programs and graduate schools of accounting have long been faulted for being too disconnected from the realities of practice.
Nearly all accounting practitioners have been saying this for years, but accounting educators and especially researchers aren't listening
"Why business ignores the business schools," by Michael Skapinker
Some ideas for applied research ---

Warning:  If you suffer from depression you probably should not read this
"Teachers: Will We Ever Learn?" by Jal Mehta, Harvard Graduate School of Education, April 15, 2013 ---

In April 1983, a federal commission warned in a famous report, “A Nation at Risk,” that American education was a “rising tide of mediocrity.” The alarm it sounded about declining competitiveness touched off a tidal wave of reforms: state standards, charter schools, alternative teacher-certification programs, more money, more test-based “accountability” and, since 2001, two big federal programs, No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top.

But while there have been pockets of improvement, particularly among children in elementary school, America’s overall performance in K-12 education remains stubbornly mediocre.

In 2009, the Program for International Student Assessment, which compares student performance across advanced industrialized countries, ranked American 15-year-olds 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math — trailing their counterparts in Belgium, Estonia and Poland. One-third of entering college students need remedial education. Huge gaps by race and class persist: the average black high school senior’s reading scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress continue to be at the level of the average white eighth grader’s. Seventeen-year-olds score the same in reading as they did in 1971.

The New York Times OpEd by Jal Mehta on April 12, 2013 ---

. . .

As the education scholar Charles M. Payne of the University of Chicago has put it: “So much reform, so little change.”

The debate over school reform has become a false polarization between figures like Michelle Rhee, the former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor, who emphasizes testing and teacher evaluation, and the education historian Diane Ravitch, who decries the long-run effort to privatize public education and emphasizes structural impediments to student achievement, like poverty.

The labels don’t matter. Charter-school networks like the Knowledge Is Power Program and Achievement First have shown impressive results, but so have reforms in traditional school districts in Montgomery County, Md., Long Beach, Calif., and, most recently, Union City, N.J., the focus of a new book by the public policy scholar David L. Kirp.

Sorry, “Waiting for Superman”: charter schools are not a panacea and have not performed, on average, better than regular public schools. Successful schools — whether charter or traditional — have features in common: a clear mission, talented teachers, time for teachers to work together, longer school days or after-school programs, feedback cycles that lead to continuing improvements. It’s not either-or.

Another false debate: alternative-certification programs like Teach for America versus traditional certification programs. The research is mixed, but the overall differences in quality between graduates of both sets of programs have been found to be negligible, and by international standards, our teachers are underperforming, regardless of how they were trained.

HERE’S what the old debates have overlooked: How schools are organized, and what happens in classrooms, hasn’t changed much in the century since the Progressive Era. On the whole, we still have the same teachers, in the same roles, with the same level of knowledge, in the same schools, with the same materials, and much the same level of parental support.

Call it the industrial-factory model: power resides at the top, with state and district officials setting goals, providing money and holding teachers accountable for realizing predetermined ends. While rational on its face, in practice this system does not work well because teaching is a complex activity that is hard to direct and improve from afar. The factory model is appropriate to simple work that is easy to standardize; it is ill suited to disciplines like teaching that require considerable skill and discretion.

Teaching requires a professional model, like we have in medicine, law, engineering, accounting, architecture and many other fields. In these professions, consistency of quality is created less by holding individual practitioners accountable and more by building a body of knowledge, carefully training people in that knowledge, requiring them to show expertise before they become licensed, and then using their professions’ standards to guide their work.

By these criteria, American education is a failed profession.

It need not be this way. In the nations that lead the international rankings — Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Finland, Canada — teachers are drawn from the top third of college graduates, rather than the bottom 60 percent as is the case in the United States. Training in these countries is more rigorous, more tied to classroom practice and more often financed by the government than in America. There are also many fewer teacher-training institutions, with much higher standards. (Finland, a perennial leader in the P.I.S.A. rankings, has eight universities that train teachers; the United States has more than 1,200.)

Teachers in leading nations’ schools also teach much less than ours do. High school teachers provide 1,080 hours per year of instruction in America, compared with fewer than 600 in South Korea and Japan, where the balance of teachers’ time is spent collaboratively on developing and refining lesson plans. These countries also have much stronger welfare states; by providing more support for students’ social, psychological and physical needs, they make it easier for teachers to focus on their academic needs. These elements create a virtuous cycle: strong academic performance leads to schools with greater autonomy and more public financing, which in turn makes education an attractive profession for talented people.

In America, both major teachers’ unions and the organization representing state education officials have, in the past year, called for raising the bar for entering teachers; one of the unions, the American Federation of Teachers, advocates a “bar exam.” Ideally the exam should not be a one-time paper-and-pencil test, like legal bar exams, but a phased set of milestones to be attained over the first few years of teaching. Akin to medical boards, they would require prospective teachers to demonstrate subject and pedagogical knowledge — as well as actual teaching skill.

Tenure would require demonstrated knowledge and skill, as at a university or a law firm. A rigorous board exam for teachers could significantly elevate the quality of candidates, raise and make more consistent teacher skill level, improve student outcomes, and strengthen the public’s regard for teachers and teaching.

We let doctors operate, pilots fly, and engineers build because their fields have developed effective ways of certifying that they can do these things. Teaching, on the whole, lacks this specialized knowledge base; teachers teach based mostly on what they have picked up from experience and from their colleagues.

Anthony S. Bryk, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has estimated that other fields spend 5 percent to 15 percent of their budgets on research and development, while in education, it is around 0.25 percent. Education-school researchers publish for fellow academics; teachers develop practical knowledge but do not evaluate or share it; commercial curriculum designers make what districts and states will buy, with little regard for quality. We most likely will need the creation of new institutions — an educational equivalent of the National Institutes of Health, the main funder of biomedical research in America — if we are to make serious headway.

We also need to develop a career arc for teaching and a differentiated salary structure to match it. Like medical residents in teaching hospitals, rookie teachers should be carefully overseen by experts as they move from apprenticeship to proficiency, and then mastery. Early- to mid-career teachers need time to collaborate and explore new directions — having mastered the basics, this is the stage when they can refine their skills. The system should reward master teachers with salaries commensurate with leading professionals in other fields.

In the past few years, 45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted Common Core standards that ask much more of students; raising standards for teachers is a critical parallel step. We have an almost endless list of things that we would like the next generation of schools to do: teach critical thinking, foster collaboration, incorporate technology, become more student-centered and engaging. The more skilled our teachers, the greater our chances of achieving these goals.

Undergraduate education programs and graduate schools of education have long been faulted for being too disconnected from the realities of practice. The past 25 years have seen the creation of an array of different providers to train teachers — programs like Teach for America, urban-teacher residencies and, most recently, schools like High Tech High in San Diego and Match High School in Boston that are running their own teacher-training programs.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on education controversies (mostly higher education) ---

Evaluating Investment Risk
Video from the Stanford Graduate School of Business
Warren Buffett will agree with partl of this but certainly not all of it given his track record on beating the pants off mathematical hedging advocates like accountics scientist Charles Lee.

If you really want to understand the problem you’re apparently wanting to study, read about how Warren Buffett changed the whole outlook of a great econometrics/mathematics researcher (Janet Tavkoli). I’ve mentioned this fantastic book before --- Dear Mr. Buffett. What opened her eyes is how Warren Buffet built his vast, vast fortune exploiting the errors of the sophisticated mathematical model builders when valuing derivatives (especially options) where he became the writer of enormous option contracts (hundreds of millions of dollars per contract). Warren Buffet dared to go where mathematical models could not or would not venture when the real world became too complicated to model. Warren reads financial statements better than most anybody else in the world and has a fantastic ability to retain and process what he’s studied. It’s impossible to model his mind.

I finally grasped what Warren was saying. Warren has such a wide body of knowledge that he does not need to rely on “systems.” . . . Warren’s vast knowledge of corporations and their finances helps him identify derivatives opportunities, too. He only participates in derivatives markets when Wall Street gets it wrong and prices derivatives (with mathematical models) incorrectly. Warren tells everyone that he only does certain derivatives transactions when they are mispriced.

Wall Street derivatives traders construct trading models with no clear idea of what they are doing. I know investment bank modelers with advanced math and science degrees who have never read the financial statements of the corporate credits they model. This is true of some credit derivatives traders, too.
Janet Tavakoli, Dear Mr. Buffett, Page 19


Trends at My Alma Mater:  "A giant tech incubator with a football team."

"The End of Stanford," by Nicholas Thompson, The New Yorker, April 8, 2013 ---

BitCoin Online Mobile Currency --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin

"Even If It Crashes, Bitcoin May Make A Dent In The Financial World," The Economist via Business Insider, April 13, 2013 ---

In 1999 an 18-year-old called Shawn Fanning changed the music industry for ever. He developed a service, Napster, that allowed individuals to swap music files with one another, instead of buying pricey compact discs from record labels. Lawsuits followed and in July 2001 Napster was shut down. But the idea lives on, in the form of BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer filesharers; the Napster brand is still used by a legal music-downloading service.

The story of Napster helps to explain the excitement about Bitcoin, a digital currency, that is based on similar technology. In January a unit of Bitcoin cost around $15 (Bitcoins can be broken down to eight decimal places for small transactions). By the time The Economist went to press on April 11th, it had settled at $179, taking the value of all Bitcoins in circulation to $2 billion. Bitcoin has become one of the world’s hottest investments, a bubble inflated by social media, loose capital in search of the newest new thing and perhaps even by bank depositors unnerved by recent events in Cyprus.

Just like Napster, Bitcoin may crash but leave a lasting legacy. Indeed, the currency experienced a sharp correction on April 10th--at one point losing close to half of its value before recovering sharply (see chart on next page). Yet the price is the least interesting thing about Bitcoin, says Tony Gallippi, founder of BitPay, a firm that processes Bitcoin payments for merchants. More important is the currency’s ability to make e-commerce much easier than it is today.

Bitcoin is not the only digital currency, nor the only successful one. Gamers on Second Life, a virtual world, pay with Linden Dollars; customers of Tencent, a Chinese internet giant, deal in QQ Coins; and Facebook sells "Credits". What makes Bitcoin different is that, unlike other online (and offline) currencies, it is neither created nor administered by a single authority such as a central bank.

Instead, "monetary policy" is determined by clever algorithms. New Bitcoins have to be "mined", meaning users can acquire them by having their computers compete to solve complex mathematical problems (the winners get the virtual cash). The coins themselves are simply strings of numbers. They are thus a completely decentralised currency: a sort of digital gold.

Continued in article

Consensus Forecasting --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_forecasts

Consensus Forecasts (e.g., global warming) and Conspiracy Beliefs That Fall Along Party Lines ---

"The Most Important Life Lesson Old People Say You Need To Know," by Eric Barker, Business Insider, April 12, 2013 ---

Jensen Comment
Good thing they did not contact with me for this survey. My response in most cases would be that I cannot give general advice across many varied and somewhat unique circumstances.

Having had three of our five children unemployed recently, I certainly agree with the responses to "make the most of a bad job" while looking for a better job or a better career.

I don't think you can separate job or career advice from particular circumstances in life. Teenage parents, for example, don't usually have the same options in life as  those who delayed becoming parents for years and years. However, some teenage parents took over the family businesses and farms or married into money and had better lives than high school classmates who became unemployed graduates of Julliard.

I don't think I would have earned a Ph.D. and had the tenure success that I had if I had married very young and started taking on financial responsibilities for a family. But I went to college with some men and women who already had young children. One of my fellow students in the doctoral program had seven or so children before starting the doctoral program and returned to BYU for a successful career while adding more children. My other accounting colleague, Les Livingstone, also had children while he was with me in the doctoral program. I was the only one who was foot loose and fancy free.

It's hard to advise younger people not to go into the military if the military was really their best ticket in life to funding a college education. I have a son at the moment who is really struggling to make ends meet with four young children on a relatively low-paying job and a very long commute in California (his wife was just laid off from her job). I keep thinking to myself how much better he may have been if he had stayed in the military for at least 20 years so that now he would have lifetime retirement income commencing at age 38 and lifetime medical coverage for himself, his wife, and his children until age 26.

Some of the most frustrated and depressed people I know are starving artists. I certainly do not agree with "putting intrinsic rewards above financial rewards" in all cases, especially if those "intrinsic rewards" make you become a starving artist. A very well-known accounting professor has son who has a Ph.D. from the truly great music school at Indiana University.  That son belatedly just completed a MBA degree having found the "intrinsic rewards" as a Ph.D. jazz pianist not sufficient for his future.

Sometimes sophomores make career choices for the most naive of reasons. For example, the "reason" that I listened to repeatedly is the by the sophomore who decided to major in psychology or physical therapy because he/she likes helping people. Physical therapists certainly do directly help people. But when my wife was recuperating from her 15 spine surgeries, the most bored workers I found in the hospital were the spine and knee therapists who spent their working hours day in and day out helping people to walk up and down the hospital corridors. I certainly would not want such a career day-in and day-out for 40+ years even though therapists are truly helping people in a very repetitive way. God bless them for they're spending their lives doing something that would have bored me to death.

Psychologists do help people. But so do workers with careers in accounting, finance, marketing, education, clergy, police detective careers, and management. I had to intervene somewhat when a student said to me that he/she thought psychology might be the best career for helping people. It can be a career for helping people but is not necessarily the best career for helping people. It is for some, but not for all.

Probably the best advice I can give you is not to put much stock on advice from us old duffers.
Life is serendipitous. Just because it treated me wonderfully does not make me an expert on giving you advice --- I may just be the maggot that a flying bird dropped into a juicy manure pile. There are many miserable professors who became maggots landing on the cement patios of maggot life.

Forwarded by Auntie Bev in Ft. Lauderdale who recently lost her long-time husband

"7%" Written by a 90 year old

This is something we should all read at least once a week!!!!! Make sure you read to the end!!!!!!

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio .

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don't worry, God never blinks.

16.. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19.. It's never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."


"Preparing for Launch: Avoiding Browser Hell with BrowserStack," by Joanna Swafford, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 9, 2013 ---

March 11th saw the pre-release of my digital project, Songs of the Victorians, an archive of parlor and art song settings of Victorian poems, and also a scholarly tool to facilitate interdisciplinary music and poetry scholarship. I had been building it for the last two years with the help of fellowships from NINES and the Scholars’ Lab, and it was a great experience to finally make the site public.

It was also a surprisingly challenging experience, as I had to figure out how to make the site display properly on a wide variety of browsers, operating systems, and iOS devices (iPad, iPod, etc.).

Before I jump in with details about the trials and tribulations of testing website compatibility, I’ll first explain a little more about my site and the programming and design challenges it presents. It is a part of the final chapter of my dissertation on Victorian poetry and music, and it will contain four songs: Michael William Balfe’s and Sir Arthur Somervell’s settings of “Come into the Garden, Maud” (both based on Alfred Lord Tennyson’s monodrama, Maud), Sir Arthur Sullivan’s version of Adelaide Procter’s “A Lost Chord,” and Caroline Norton’s “Juanita,” although for the limited release, it only includes “Juanita.” The site contains two components for each work: an archive of high-resolution images of the first edition printing with an audio file, and an article-length analysis of the song’s interpretation of the poem, with playable excerpts of relevant musical phrases to support the argument. When the song is played on either component, each measure of the score is highlighted in time with the music so that everyone, regardless of their ability to read music, can follow the score and the thread of the argument.

To incorporate audio, I needed to use a comparatively new feature of html, namely, the <audio> tag, which lets you embed an audio file and player in a website. I was disappointed to discover that no two browsers handled it in precisely the same way: Internet Explorer won’t recognize it at all in versions 8 and earlier (and inexplicably won’t render it in version 10), ios devices will only play the audio file if it is triggered by a user event, and Firefox will only play ogg vorbis, not mp3 files.

Such compatibility difficulties are often colloquially (and aptly) referred to as “browser hell.” I learned about some of these problems from researching the <audio> tag as I was developing Songs of the Victorians, but I learned most from an incredibly useful site for testing website compatability: BrowserStack.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Tricks and Tools of the Trade ---

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---

Are evolved systems necessarily optimal for practice or optimal for learning in the 21st Century?

At first blush this seems way off topic for the AECM. But when I think about the subject of systems that evolve since the early days of mankind I'm thinking off the wall that these are not necessarily optimal for practice or optimal for learning in the 21st Century.

For example double entry bookkeeping is a beautiful system for accountancy but does it continue to be the best system for practice or for learning in the 21st Century?

For example, algebra has been with us for what seems like forever and is the fundamental basis for most mathematical systems as we know them today. But is algebra optimal for practice or for learning in the 21st Century?

“Hummingbird,” A New Form of Music Notation That’s Easier to Learn and Faster to Read --- Click Here  http://www.openculture.com/2013/04/a_new_form_of_music_notation_thats_easier_to_learn_and_faster_to_read_its_called_hummingbird.html 

"Getting Used to the New Gmail Compose," by Natalie Houston, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 15, 2013 ---

Jensen Comment
As I get older the less I like change which is why I really, really hate running newest versions of Internet Explorer without a menu bar. The good news is that this forced me a couple of years ago to become a Firefox user. Yeah I know I can do gymnastics to get an IE menu bar and I've done so, but IE no longer matters so much to me.

I adjusted rather quickly to the new Gmail Compose and like it better than the old interface. What I really like best is the ability to easily compose a message in a new tab rather than have to fool with draft messages in the old system whenever I wanted to access my email archives while composing a message.

By the way I still use 2003 FrontPage because I've not found another HTML option that can read and change some enormous HTML files on my Website. I do not like Microsoft Expression. Among many other things it won't read my big files. FrontPage was a terrific software option that I hated to see Microsoft lose interest in after 2003.

"The Secret To Sweden's Brilliant Economic Comeback," by Michael Moran, Business Insider, April 13, 2013 ---

As recently as the early 1990s, the idea that Sweden could be a model of anything except socialism gone awry would have been laughable.

Sweden's debt-to-GDP was staggering when compared to other advanced industrial nations, topping 70 percent in 1992 and headed ever upward. Nearly 60 percent of all economic activity was generated by either government or government-owned enterprises. Meanwhile, the full employment mantra of its socialist model was coming apart at the seams as government simply could not borrow or print enough money to bridge the gap. The Swedish jobless rate shot from less than 2 percent in 1988 to more than 10 percent in 1993.

Even renowned global brands — Saab, Volvo and Electrolux — were failing. By 1993, Sweden’s banks were effectively bankrupt.

But Sweden today barely resembles its former self. As the Economist magazine wrote last year, “The streets of Stockholm are awash in the blood of sacred cows.”

A century of pursuing political neutrality and aggressive egalitarian socialism has more recently been leavened by economic reforms and market liberalizations, lighting a fire under the economy. After a modest dip during 2008, the economy has outperformed the US and even Germany since.

Most importantly, the growth has not led to the kind of spike in income inequality that accompanied growth spurts in many other western countries since the 1980s. Sweden’s reforms caused inequality of income to grow over the past 20 years. As measured by the Gini coefficient, the world’s standard measure of household equality, Sweden went from a .21 to a .25 – still the best in the developed world. For the US, the numbers are staggering. From a Gini rating of .31 in 1975, the current ranking (adjusted for taxes and benefits) is .38.

How did Sweden do it? The answer is a mix of carefully introduced competitive pressures on services previously run by government, from schools to health to pensions, and an intelligent and forceful response to a banking crisis in the early 1990s that had a lot in common with the one that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

There was no "radical shock" akin to the market reforms applied to the states of the former Warsaw Pact in Europe after 1989. Rather, Sweden embarked on a gradual recalibration of government spending, a lowering of top tax rates — to "only" 57 percent at the top — without a kind of offloading of social responsibility that characterized earlier market reform efforts in Thatcher's Britain or Reagan's America. The result is a country and a Nordic region, given that its neighbors have followed suit, that no longer resembles the socialist "Third Way" economy of the late 1970s.

Not just Sweden, but also Denmark, Finland and Norway are thriving, and it turns out its quirky mix of social democracy, communitarianism and advanced capitalism has produced the most socially mobile, consistently robust and fiscally sound nations in the world. While some of its old state champions have been sold — Saab to a Dutch firm, Volvo to Chinanew powerhouses like IKEA and H&M have mixed corporate responsibility with an intense focus on cost controls — and high profits.

Sweden’s banks, flat on their back in 1993, are now rated by the European Union’s chief banking regulator as the strongest on the continent.

While there are many lessons from Sweden’s experience applicable in the West, there also is an apples and oranges problem.

For one thing, Sweden is a relatively small economy at $500 billion in GDP, compared to the $15.7 trillion in US annual output. It’s also a much more homogeneous society. A recent spike in immigration from the Middle East and Eastern Europe notwithstanding, most Swedes are, well, Swedish.

The large influx of immigrants into the US that began in the late 1980s certainly did much to prevent fiscal problems; by raising the US birth rate, for instance, immigrants have prevented the current debate about Social Security from being a question of collapse and merely one of finding a way to make it more sustainable; and a few founded world-beating companies, like Russian immigrant Sergey Brin at Google or Taiwan-born Jerry Yang of Yahoo, adding billions to US GDP.

But immigration on such a scale attracts people at both the top and bottom of the skills pool, meaning that some will go on to found S&P 500 firms or win Nobel Prizes, while many other lag in educational achievement and earnings. Taken together, this phenomenon naturally pushes up inequality rankings.

Sweden also has handled the age of globalized finance very differently and indeed, it might be argued, a lot more intelligently.

Back in 1992, Sweden suffered its own real estate bubble-fueled banking crisis. Facing the same kind of domino-effect collapse on a smaller scale, Swedish regulators demanded banks write down losses, provide major relief to underwater homeowners and issue warrants — in effect, voting rights on their boards of directors — the government. Once the bad debts were sold back onto the market, Swedish taxpayers rather than bank shareholders were the primary beneficiaries, and taxpayers made more when the government exited from its stake in the banks later in the 1990s.

Reflecting on the Swedish crisis in 2008, as the US and UK were trying to structure their own bailouts, Urban Backstrom, a senior Swedish finance ministry official at the time, warned that a guiding principle was that the “public will not support a plan if you leave the former shareholders with anything.” By and large, the American version, TARP, left shareholders, including bank executives, completely intact — to this day a source of serious criticism of former US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and his team.

While the Swedish government insisted that banks pay a proper tab for their drinking binge, it simultaneously opened up other markets which had been over regulated, selling state shares in major enterprises, introducing school vouchers and private, rather than state-run pension programs. The country also broke the state’s hold on its central bank (with the US Federal Reserve as a model).

“These decisive economic liberalizations, and not socialism, are what laid the foundations for Sweden's success over the last 15 years,” says Jonny Munkhammar, a member of parliament for Sweden’s center-right Moderate Party who wrote a book about the Swedish reforms.

Could the United States emulate even some of this? The question is complex and shot through with the competing ideological dogmas that each party bring to the table. Indeed, it might be said that there is something from both sides to loathe in the modern Swedish model. For the American Left, the idea that market liberalization is a significant part of the Swedish story shatters a simplistic devotion to redistributive policy. For the American Right, Sweden’s heavy handed devotion to regulation and a top tax rate of 57 percent for multimillionaires would be a hard pill to swallow.

Then again, national insolvency and an ever rising gap between rich and poor in America are two nasty pills in their own right. The Swedish option is starting to look pretty good.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Sweden's tax rates cover expenditures for nationwide health care and education. If we added what Americans pay separately for health care, college education, and state taxation wouldn't our tax rates be higher than those of Sweden?

Comparing the U.S. and Sweden is complicated by differences in size, ethnicity, immigration (legal and illegal) and the massive drug underworld in the United States that is destroying the largest cities in the USA. Similarly Sweden did not choose to become the police force of the world.

Among the smart things Sweden did is resist becoming part of the disastrous Eurozone.

"KRUGMAN: Sweden Has The Answers To Our Taxation Problems," by Kamelia Angelova, Business Insider, February 12, 2013 ---

The above link is a video of Paul Krugman being interviewed. He seems to be holding an earlier Sweden as having some type of taxation and welfare spending program that's an ideal without mentioning that the current Sweden and other Nordic nations are  trying to change all that by:

Either Professor Krugman is ignorant of the changes taking place in Sweden (which I doubt) or he's selectively trying to mislead his audience. He should be more careful in selectively choosing examples he promotes as ideals. This is not, in my viewpoint, the type of selectivity we want in our Academy.


Special Report in The Economist magazine that the liberal television stations and newspapers are keeping secret
"Northern lights:  The Nordic countries are reinventing their model of capitalism," by Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist, February 2, 2013 ---

THIRTY YEARS AGO Margaret Thatcher turned Britain into the world’s leading centre of “thinking the unthinkable”. Today that distinction has passed to Sweden. The streets of Stockholm are awash with the blood of sacred cows. The think-tanks are brimful of new ideas. The erstwhile champion of the “third way” is now pursuing a far more interesting brand of politics.

Sweden has reduced public spending as a proportion of GDP from 67% in 1993 to 49% today. It could soon have a smaller state than Britain. It has also cut the top marginal tax rate by 27 percentage points since 1983, to 57%, and scrapped a mare’s nest of taxes on property, gifts, wealth and inheritance. This year it is cutting the corporate-tax rate from 26.3% to 22%.

Sweden has also donned the golden straitjacket of fiscal orthodoxy with its pledge to produce a fiscal surplus over the economic cycle. Its public debt fell from 70% of GDP in 1993 to 37% in 2010, and its budget moved from an 11% deficit to a surplus of 0.3% over the same period. This allowed a country with a small, open economy to recover quickly from the financial storm of 2007-08. Sweden has also put its pension system on a sound foundation, replacing a defined-benefit system with a defined-contribution one and making automatic adjustments for longer life expectancy.

Most daringly, it has introduced a universal system of school vouchers and invited private schools to compete with public ones. Private companies also vie with each other to provide state-funded health services and care for the elderly. Anders Aslund, a Swedish economist who lives in America, hopes that Sweden is pioneering “a new conservative model”; Brian Palmer, an American anthropologist who lives in Sweden, worries that it is turning into “the United States of Swedeamerica”.

There can be no doubt that Sweden’s quiet revolution has brought about a dramatic change in its economic performance. The two decades from 1970 were a period of decline: the country was demoted from being the world’s fourth-richest in 1970 to 14th-richest in 1993, when the average Swede was poorer than the average Briton or Italian. The two decades from 1990 were a period of recovery: GDP growth between 1993 and 2010 averaged 2.7% a year and productivity 2.1% a year, compared with 1.9% and 1% respectively for the main 15 EU countries.

For most of the 20th century Sweden prided itself on offering what Marquis Childs called, in his 1936 book of that title, a “Middle Way” between capitalism and socialism. Global companies such as Volvo and Ericsson generated wealth while enlightened bureaucrats built the Folkhemmet or “People’s Home”. As the decades rolled by, the middle way veered left. The government kept growing: public spending as a share of GDP nearly doubled from 1960 to 1980 and peaked at 67% in 1993. Taxes kept rising. The Social Democrats (who ruled Sweden for 44 uninterrupted years from 1932 to 1976 and for 21 out of the 24 years from 1982 to 2006) kept squeezing business. “The era of neo-capitalism is drawing to an end,” said Olof Palme, the party’s leader, in 1974. “It is some kind of socialism that is the key to the future.”

The other Nordic countries have been moving in the same direction, if more slowly. Denmark has one of the most liberal labour markets in Europe. It also allows parents to send children to private schools at public expense and make up the difference in cost with their own money. Finland is harnessing the skills of venture capitalists and angel investors to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. Oil-rich Norway is a partial exception to this pattern, but even there the government is preparing for its post-oil future.

This is not to say that the Nordics are shredding their old model. They continue to pride themselves on the generosity of their welfare states. About 30% of their labour force works in the public sector, twice the average in the Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation, a rich-country think-tank. They continue to believe in combining open economies with public investment in human capital. But the new Nordic model begins with the individual rather than the state. It begins with fiscal responsibility rather than pump-priming: all four Nordic countries have AAA ratings and debt loads significantly below the euro-zone average. It begins with choice and competition rather than paternalism and planning. The economic-freedom index of the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think-tank, shows Sweden and Finland catching up with the United States (see chart). The leftward lurch has been reversed: rather than extending the state into the market, the Nordics are extending the market into the state.

Why are the Nordic countries doing this? The obvious answer is that they have reached the limits of big government. “The welfare state we have is excellent in most ways,” says Gunnar Viby Mogensen, a Danish historian. “We only have this little problem. We can’t afford it.” The economic storms that shook all the Nordic countries in the early 1990s provided a foretaste of what would happen if they failed to get their affairs in order.

There are two less obvious reasons. The old Nordic model depended on the ability of a cadre of big companies to generate enough money to support the state, but these companies are being slimmed by global competition. The old model also depended on people’s willingness to accept direction from above, but Nordic populations are becoming more demanding.

Small is powerful

The Nordic countries have a collective population of only 26m. Finland is the only one of them that is a member of both the European Union and the euro area. Sweden is in the EU but outside the euro and has a freely floating currency. Denmark, too, is in the EU and outside the euro area but pegs its currency to the euro. Norway has remained outside the EU.

But there are compelling reasons for paying attention to these small countries on the edge of Europe. The first is that they have reached the future first. They are grappling with problems that other countries too will have to deal with in due course, such as what to do when you reach the limits of big government and how to organise society when almost all women work. And the Nordics are coming up with highly innovative solutions that reject the tired orthodoxies of left and right.

The second reason to pay attention is that the new Nordic model is proving strikingly successful. The Nordics dominate indices of competitiveness as well as of well-being. Their high scores in both types of league table mark a big change since the 1980s when welfare took precedence over competitiveness.

The Nordics do particularly well in two areas where competitiveness and welfare can reinforce each other most powerfully: innovation and social inclusion. BCG, as the Boston Consulting Group calls itself, gives all of them high scores on its e-intensity index, which measures the internet’s impact on business and society. Booz & Company, another consultancy, points out that big companies often test-market new products on Nordic consumers because of their willingness to try new things. The Nordic countries led the world in introducing the mobile network in the 1980s and the GSM standard in the 1990s. Today they are ahead in the transition to both e-government and the cashless economy. Locals boast that they pay their taxes by SMS. This correspondent gave up changing sterling into local currencies because everything from taxi rides to cups of coffee can be paid for by card.

The Nordics also have a strong record of drawing on the talents of their entire populations, with the possible exception of their immigrants. They have the world’s highest rates of social mobility: in a comparison of social mobility in eight advanced countries by Jo Blanden, Paul Gregg and Stephen Machin, of the London School of Economics, they occupied the first four places. America and Britain came last. The Nordics also have exceptionally high rates of female labour-force participation: in Denmark not far off as many women go out to work (72%) as men (79%).

Flies in the ointment

This special report will examine the way the Nordic governments are updating their version of capitalism to deal with a more difficult world. It will note that in doing so they have unleashed a huge amount of creativity and become world leaders in reform. Nordic entrepreneurs are feeling their oats in a way not seen since the early 20th century. Nordic writers and artists—and indeed Nordic chefs and game designers—are enjoying a creative renaissance.

The report will also add caveats. The growing diversity of Nordic societies is generating social tensions, most horrifically in Norway, where Anders Breivik killed 77 people in a racially motivated attack in 2011, but also on a more mundane level every day. Sweden is finding it particularly hard to integrate its large population of refugees.

The Nordic model is still a work in progress. The three forces that have obliged the Nordic countries to revamp it—limited resources, rampant globalisation and growing diversity—are gathering momentum

Continued in article

Note that on Page 5 there's also a section entitled "More for Less" devoted to Welfare Capitalism.

Jensen Comment
It appears that among the Nordics only Norway will continue to afford socialism, but this is because oil-rich Norway is a leading OPEC nation less concerned with the need for private sector growth.

There are of course serious obstacles to applying the new Nordic capitalism to the USA. Firstly, the USA is not bound by the Arctic Ocean on the north and the North Sea on the south that greatly discourages illegal immigration and narcotics. Secondly, the Nordic countries have difficult languages that are not studied to a significant degree in other nations. For example, I'm told that if you weren't raised in Finland you can never understand the language. Thirdly, there's no existing infrastructure to absorb and aid illegal immigrants in Scandinavia. Scandinavians like my grandparents, Ole, Sven, and Lena emigrated from these hard and cold countries rather than immigrating to these lands.

Scandinavians have avoided the crippling costs of building up powerful military forces and have not tried to become the police force of the world.

Scandinavians also avoided the horrors in importing millions of slaves and the centuries of social costs and degradations that followed. Nor did they have to go to war, to a serious degree, with indigenous peoples to take over the land by trickery and force.

February 13, 2013 reply from David Johnstone

Dear Bob, even if tax rates in Sweden have come down, the top marginal rates are still very high in Sweden relative to where they are now in the US (and once were in the US) and surely that makes a very big difference to taxes collected, socially and in other ways. I just watched a program on TV here, showing how previously comfortably albeit not extremely well-off off families in the US were living in cars and barely feeding/clothing/warming themselves, and I must say that this, like the frequency of gun ownership, seems like another planet and species to life in Australia. I have not tried to think it through, or read all the arguments, but it seems to me that people who want to get rich and create businesses and wealth will still have that drive even if at the top end they pay higher tax rates (as they used to in the US). Once these rates are set much lower and spoilt people get used to them and “believe” they are “right”, then it is very hard behaviourally to go back. Similarly with letting people own guns galore.

February 14, 2013 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi David,

It was Krugman's comparisons of the U.S. and Swedish tax rates that started this thread.

In reality it is very hard to compare many macroeconomic measures between nations because they often are not very comparable. Sweden's marginal tax rates are still relatively high because they include paying for nationalized health care and education, including college education. If we had the cost of our health care and education added to the U.S. tax revenues we would be closer to comparability. But there are other enormous problems. In the U.S. we must also add in state taxation to the Federal tax rates to make them more comparable to Sweden. In California, for example, the marginal Federal and State rates before health care costs to 50%,

At the same time, the U.S. tax rates are not comparable with Sweden because of all the tax preferences we build into the system such as tax exemptions of municipal bond interest and deductions medical expenses in excess of 7.5% of AGI, state taxes. mortgage interest, casualty losses, etc. These days there are also enormous credits reducing payments such as the earned income credit, energy credits, etc.

But if economists like Krugman still want to make these international tax rate comparisons in public interviews, I think that it is also important to discuss trends in those tax rates. The tax rates in Nordic countries have been coming down rather dramatically over the decades, and it's important to point this fact out and to examine the reasons why Nordic countries are reducing the size of their governments in favor o building up their private sectors.

Of course there are many other international measures that are not comparable such as unemployment rates, poverty rates (e.g., Gini coefficients), infant mortality, etc.

Even within a nation, statistics are often not comparable over time. For example, inflation rates in the USA used to factor in price changes in food and fuel. Now to make inflation look less severe, the U.S. government no longer includes fuel and food price changes in inflation rates. Dah!

Bob Jensen

"The Nordic model for unemployment insurance," Sober Look, January 11, 2013 ---

Bob Jensen's comparisons of the American versus Denmark dreams ---

Bob Jensen's threads on why Vermont is trying to increase its unemployment rate ---

Bob Jensen's threads on The American Dream are at

Man Gets 7 Years for Stealing Obama's Teleprompter ---

Andy Fastow, who stole $60 million was released after five years and three months ---
Most of his colleagues at Enron who also stole millions served less than three years

Soldier handed three-year sentence for raping recruit ---

Maloney was released from prison last year after serving a three year sentence for raping an elderly woman ---

A Newfoundland man was given a three-year sentence for raping and sexually assaulting his 11-year-old niece --- Click Here

Stealing the President's teleprompter is about as bad as it gets this side of murder.

Bob Jensen's threads on how white collar crime pays even if you know you're going to get caught ---

Accountics Scientists Aren't Going to Like This One
"Great Scientist ≠ Good at Math:  E.O. Wilson shares a secret: Discoveries emerge from ideas, not number-crunching," E.O. Wilson, The Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2013 ---

For many young people who aspire to be scientists, the great bugbear is mathematics. Without advanced math, how can you do serious work in the sciences? Well, I have a professional secret to share: Many of the most successful scientists in the world today are mathematically no more than semiliterate.

During my decades of teaching biology at Harvard, I watched sadly as bright undergraduates turned away from the possibility of a scientific career, fearing that, without strong math skills, they would fail. This mistaken assumption has deprived science of an immeasurable amount of sorely needed talent. It has created a hemorrhage of brain power we need to stanch.

I speak as an authority on this subject because I myself am an extreme case. Having spent my precollege years in relatively poor Southern schools, I didn't take algebra until my freshman year at the University of Alabama. I finally got around to calculus as a 32-year-old tenured professor at Harvard, where I sat uncomfortably in classes with undergraduate students only a bit more than half my age. A couple of them were students in a course on evolutionary biology I was teaching. I swallowed my pride and learned calculus.

I was never more than a C student while catching up, but I was reassured by the discovery that superior mathematical ability is similar to fluency in foreign languages. I might have become fluent with more effort and sessions talking with the natives, but being swept up with field and laboratory research, I advanced only by a small amount.

Fortunately, exceptional mathematical fluency is required in only a few disciplines, such as particle physics, astrophysics and information theory. Far more important throughout the rest of science is the ability to form concepts, during which the researcher conjures images and processes by intuition.

Everyone sometimes daydreams like a scientist. Ramped up and disciplined, fantasies are the fountainhead of all creative thinking. Newton dreamed, Darwin dreamed, you dream. The images evoked are at first vague. They may shift in form and fade in and out. They grow a bit firmer when sketched as diagrams on pads of paper, and they take on life as real examples are sought and found.

Pioneers in science only rarely make discoveries by extracting ideas from pure mathematics. Most of the stereotypical photographs of scientists studying rows of equations on a blackboard are instructors explaining discoveries already made. Real progress comes in the field writing notes, at the office amid a litter of doodled paper, in the hallway struggling to explain something to a friend, or eating lunch alone. Eureka moments require hard work. And focus.

Ideas in science emerge most readily when some part of the world is studied for its own sake. They follow from thorough, well-organized knowledge of all that is known or can be imagined of real entities and processes within that fragment of existence. When something new is encountered, the follow-up steps usually require mathematical and statistical methods to move the analysis forward. If that step proves too technically difficult for the person who made the discovery, a mathematician or statistician can be added as a collaborator.

In the late 1970s, I sat down with the mathematical theorist George Oster to work out the principles of caste and the division of labor in the social insects. I supplied the details of what had been discovered in nature and the lab, and he used theorems and hypotheses from his tool kit to capture these phenomena. Without such information, Mr. Oster might have developed a general theory, but he would not have had any way to deduce which of the possible permutations actually exist on earth.

Over the years, I have co-written many papers with mathematicians and statisticians, so I can offer the following principle with confidence. Call it Wilson's Principle No. 1: It is far easier for scientists to acquire needed collaboration from mathematicians and statisticians than it is for mathematicians and statisticians to find scientists able to make use of their equations.

This imbalance is especially the case in biology, where factors in a real-life phenomenon are often misunderstood or never noticed in the first place. The annals of theoretical biology are clogged with mathematical models that either can be safely ignored or, when tested, fail. Possibly no more than 10% have any lasting value. Only those linked solidly to knowledge of real living systems have much chance of being used.

If your level of mathematical competence is low, plan to raise it, but meanwhile, know that you can do outstanding scientific work with what you have. Think twice, though, about specializing in fields that require a close alternation of experiment and quantitative analysis. These include most of physics and chemistry, as well as a few specialties in molecular biology.

Newton invented calculus in order to give substance to his imagination. Darwin had little or no mathematical ability, but with the masses of information he had accumulated, he was able to conceive a process to which mathematics was later applied.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Thus far I've come up with two inventions plus one shared inventions by accounting researchers in our Academy. Can anybody add to this list ---

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_resource_planning

"Kentucky Moves 173 School Districts to Cloud-Based ERP," by Leila Meyer,  T.H.E. Journal, April 4, 2013 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---

"How to Buy a Router," by Eric Escobar, Tech Talker, April 10, 2013 ---

"Everything We Know About Microsoft's Next Version Of Windows, 'Windows Blue'," by Julie Bort, Business Insider, April 11, 2013 ---

Microsoft is working on a new version of Windows, which is expected to be available sometime this year.

It's codenamed "Windows Blue" and a lot of details about it have leaked, including an early version that several people were able to install on their PCs and Windows tablets.

That version showed that Microsoft is fixing a lot of stuff that people really hated about Windows 8.

Watch the slide show.

Goner Mail:  Google Wants To Know What To Do With Your Gmail After You're Dead ---

False statements to obtain unemployment insurance payments, food stamps, welfare, and housing vouchers

"24 Current And Former IRS Employees Indicted For Benefits Fraud," Department of Justice, April 17, 2013 ---

Memphis, TN – United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton III and Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich announced today that 24 current and former employees of the Internal Revenue Service have been charged for crimes relating to fraudulently obtaining more than $250,000 in government benefits.

Thirteen of the current and former IRS employees have been charged federally with making false statements to obtain unemployment insurance payments, food stamps, welfare, and housing vouchers. All thirteen, individually charged in separate indictments, are alleged to have falsely stated that they were unemployed while applying for or recertifying those government benefits.

“According to the allegations in the indictment, while these IRS employees were supposed to be serving the public, they were instead brazenly stealing from law-abiding American taxpayers,” said U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III. “These charges demonstrate our unwavering resolve to work with our law enforcement partners and hold accountable anyone who fraudulently obtains government benefits and violates the public’s trust.”

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Maybe I had better not comment on this one since it would get me in trouble yet again.

But let me say that this is one of the reason an unmarried  parent dressed to the nines can get two carts filled with free groceries that are loaded into the new Cadillac Escalade owned by the what seemed to me to be the other parent. But if the parent with the food stamps was not gainfully employed (e.g., as an IRS employee) to the point of receiving a W2 statement no laws would be broken. This is why such a high proportion of the 48 million food stamp recipients would not be eligible for free food, wine, and booze if the high incomes of domestic partners could somehow be factored into the eligibility criteria.

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at

Question:  Where are college faculty in the infamous and despised one percent?
AAUP 2013 Salary Report

Top Private Universities in Faculty Salaries for Full Professors, 2012-13

University Average Salary
1. Columbia University (U.S. News #4)
2. Stanford University (#6)
3. University of Chicago (#4)
4. Harvard University (#1)
5. Princeton University (#1)
6. New York University (#32)
7.University of Pennsylvania (#8)
8. Yale University (#3)
9. Duke University (#8)
10. California Institute of Technology (#10)

Top Public Universities in Pay for Full Professors, 2012-13

University Average Salary
1. University of California at Los Angeles (U.S. News #24)
2. New Jersey Institute of Technology (#139)
3. University of California at Berkeley (#21)
4. Rutgers University at Newark (#115)
5. Rutgers University at New Brunswick (#68)
6. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (#29)
7. Rutgers University at Camden (regional ranking)
8. University of Texas at Austin (#46)
9. University of Virginia (#24)
10. University of Texas at Dallas (#151)

Top Liberal Arts Colleges in Pay for Full Professors, 2012-13

College Average Salary
1. Wellesley College (U.S. News #6)
2. Claremont McKenna College (#10)
3. Barnard College (#28)
4. Pomona College (#4)
5. Harvey Mudd College (#12)
6. Swarthmore College (#3)
7. Amherst College (#2)
8. Williams College (#1)
9. Wesleyan University (#17)
10. Colgate University (#18)

Tables like this are very misleading because they do not disclose the other direct and indirect compensation to faculty in colleges and universities, especially the colleges and universities named in the above tables.

Firstly, there's summer pay in the form of research stipends, teaching pay, and consulting that comes about for being a professor in those universities. So add at least 2/9 of each number to that number in the above tables.

Secondly, there are consulting opportunities that are often given to faculty by alumni. For example, Harvard Business School faculty receive tremendous stipends for teaching seminars and giving speeches for Fortune 500 companies, and those engagements are often engineered by HBS alumni wanting to maintain close relationships with the HBS.

Thirdly, the major universities generally give generous supplemental research grants to faculty. This really does go for research in most instances, but if a researcher is collecting data in Paris nothing usually prevents taking a spouse along and spending an extra week or two after the data is collected. And while collecting the data that expensive Paris hotel is paid for out of the grant along with meals and ground transportation.

Fourthly, popular textbook authors may spend an average of six hours a day writing and updating popular textbooks in lieu of doing as much research as the professor in the office next door. For those textbook writing professors the above numbers may not even pay their income taxes. My point is that universities pay an awful lot of money so their textbook-writing professors can get rich.

And of course these salaries plus the supplemental benefits are averages. Many faculty earn much more than the means and medians, especially productive faculty publishing in top research journals.

There are also tremendous difference between disciplines. While the long-time sociology or history professor at Stanford may be earning $183,500 the new assistant professor of accounting may be coming into her or his first faculty job at a starting salary of $218,000 plus benefits. And there is compression. A long-time full professor of accounting at Stanford may be earning $196,000 when that offer of $218,000 goes out to a new assistant professor of accounting.

Usually medical school professors are excluded in the above tables. One problem is that the way of compensating medical professors varies quite a bit between universities. For example, some medical schools collect all the profits from patient revenues in university hospitals and then distribute it back to medical school professors in one form or another.

There are also tremendous cost of living differences to take into account. That $400,000 beautiful acreage in Vermillion, South Dakota would be worth $10 million or more west of the Stanford campus. That $65,000 starter home Vermillion is probably worth more than $350,000 in Cambridge, Mass. assuming you can even find such a cheap piece of ticky tack near Cambridge.

And even if you go to the worst paying colleges and universities none of their full-time faculty are on food stamps unless their significant others (domestic partners) are bringing home the food stamp food and wine.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

"WHAT MAKES GREAT TEACHERS GREAT?" by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, April 16, 2013 ---

. . .

Great teachers seem to possess most of the following qualities:

(1) Love of Their Subject. They love what they teach. That love is obvious and contagious, often rubbing off on students. Many of their students say, for example, “I really didn’t like history until I took his class. Now I love it.”

(2) Vibrant. They are enthusiastic and energetic. Their classes are vibrant and lively, usually punctuated with regular give-and-take with students. Here the teaching process is a two-way street.

(3) Up-to-date. Great teachers have complete command of their subject based on current scholarship, and they know how to present it in organized and understandable ways. There are no yellowed or dog- eared lecture notes in their classes. If they teach in technical fields, they stay up-to-date with constantly changing technology.

(4) Creative. They are creative and help students look at things from different perspectives. They challenge assumptions and help students learn how to think analytically and critically, and to see things in a different light. Virginia’s Standard of Learning testing requirements stifle creative teaching in public schools, according to many critics. A former high school principal, however, told me that the great teachers he knows have adapted to the SOLs and still do a superb job in the classroom.

(5) Demanding. Great teachers usually are not easy teachers. They keep their students on their toes and do not pander to them. Yet they attempt to bring out the best in their students without badgering or humiliating them.

(6) Relevancy. They have the ability to make their subject relevant so that students can see a connection to their own lives and the world around them.

(7) Trust. Their credibility is unquestioned, and they are trusted by their students, who sense that the teacher is honest, forthright and fair.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I find that the above criteria can be repackaged in various ways. For example, the KPMG Foundation has been striving now for over 25 years to provide significant financial support to minorities in accounting doctoral programs and has been doing a great job in a selected subset of accounting doctoral programs. One of the main purpose is to provide minority role models.

I don't know quite how to define a great role model for teachers because there are so many different types of great role models. Great role models all seem to have a passion for teaching and sufficient expertise for the levels of their courses.

What needs to be expanded by Joe is the fact that the "great teachers" are not always a very popular teachers. Conversely, the "most popular" teachers are not necessarily great teachers. Some teachers appear to be popular just because they are almost certain to raise a student's grade point average. Sometimes they've popular because they cover so little material and skip over the hard stuff. Students love being entertained by humor, learning games such as Monopoly or Jeopardy, etc.

Students like to be spoon fed and often give teachers high ratings simply because these teachers make the textbook seem easy. A great teacher may instead make the textbook seem superficial or lacking in modules that great teachers think are vital to the course. Or a great teacher may critically evaluate a textbook module to provide students with illustrations of critical thinking.

Somewhat neglected here is education versus teaching.
It is possible to be a great educator without necessarily being a great teacher. These days I like to think of myself as an educator even though I no longer teach. There are various ways of being a great educator. One way is by making very current learning materials available and making them easy to find --- such as on a Website. I would like to give more credit to professors have tremendous open access Websites. I don't find many terrific Websites among accounting educators and researchers.

Some educators are great because they provide the world with outstanding textbooks, including those great end-of-chapter materials. In many instances textbook writers are highly rewarded financially, but certainly not in all cases --- especially in small market specialties.

Some great educators lead great teachers and help to bring the resources that make programs great.

Some great educators challenge great teachers, great researchers, and other educators. For example, some bloggers do a terrific job challenging recent research journal articles and published teaching cases.

I think sometimes great educators inspire critical thinking even though they themselves may not be considered great teachers under the criteria listed by Joe in the above article.

Such educators are seldom happy with materials great teachers think are tremendous.

Teacher to Teacher: Critical Thinking in the College Classroom ---

Why Critical Thinking is so Hard to Teach ---


April 16, 2013 reply from Joe Hoyle

Hi Bob --
I have no idea why the blog won't accept your comments. And, I'm disappointed because I'd love to have your thoughts. They would add to the site. I'm actually not very blog savvy and on these free sites there are no live human beings to ask questions of. I seem to remember when I first started that I had to have a Google account in order to register comments. I had a gmail email address and so that password worked but that is only a vague recollection. I'm a person who very much operates on a "need to know" basis.

I enjoyed your comments below. I think we need more opinions out there on education. I'm also troubled that it is so difficult to identify who "great teachers" really are. I can't remember if I have ever written this on the blog but I often say it when I give live presentations: student evaluations are one of the worst things to ever happen to college education. And that is because, as you say, "great teacher" and favorite teacher have become "intertwined concepts."

How do you determine greatness in teachers? Any way that i can come up with another person could easily take apart. I have one pet method. I don't know if you ever look at Rate My Professor.com. Okay, for the most part it is a bunch of baloney. However, my theory is that the best teachers are the ones who have the largest spread between "quality" and "easiness." A 5 and a 5 is an extremely easy teacher who is popular and funny and a 1 and a 1 is a tough teacher who isn't very clear. But a 5 and a 1 is doing something right - high quality and extreme toughness. Now, I will warn you that I probably like that one measure because I do well on it. Soooo, are we just drawn to evaluation techniques that put us in the best possible light? That might be the one thing that is really true.

I suspect that the best way to evaluate great teaching is to give students some type of course evaluation 3 years after they graduate. They have a better perspective. But again, I'm sure someone else can tell me why that is complete nonsense.

Thanks for congratulations on the innovation award. You know the best part of that. They give me a 75 minute slot to talk to people. Of course, as you might guess, it is on Wednesday at 2:00 when most people have left or headed to Disney Land but that will still give me a chance to meet some new people and make some new teaching friends. The only real way to get better as a teacher is to have some thoughtful conversations and I can always use more friends to talk with.

Keep up the good work. We need more folks like you. Hope to see you in August -- grab me and we'll have a drink together and figure out what great teaching really means.


April 17, 2013 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Joe,

I probably go to RateMyProfessor.com more than any other accounting professor --- mostly out of curiosity but sometimes with purpose. I'm often seeking evidence about teachers who try to indoctrinate more than they educate:

"Noam Chomsky Spells Out the Purpose of Education," by Josh Jones, Open Culture, November 2012 --- http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/noam_chomsky_spells_out_the_purpose_of_education.html 

I never even look at the numerical scores on RMP because the sample respondents are self selecting.

I find the subjective comments sometimes revealing about such things as easiness, course requirements, mood swings, and bias.

I have great difficulty distinguishing between popularity versus teaching greatness. Sometimes students praise things that do not make great teaching in my opinion. Sometimes they criticize things that do not detract from teaching greatness in my opinion.

When I was a department chair I had an intermediate teacher who was not at all great in the classroom. But she spent 6-8 hours each day helping students in her office. In this she excelled. So I consider her a great teacher having passion, dedication, and respect from her students concerning what they learned.

But 6-8 hours in the office does not make all teachers great. In some cases students may grow angry over having to spend so much time outside the classroom when great teachers would make better use of class time.

I'm actually a great fan of the BAM pedagogy that most students hate. Students probably learn the most while hating their teachers the most --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/265wp.htm

I think the BAM teachers who can pull this off are probably the greatest teachers and the most hated teachers in higher education --- keeping in mind that students probably only have time for one BAM course per term.

There's no magic formula for teaching greatness and no single role model.

In any case keep up the good work Joe.

My one wish from you is that you would become more active on the AECM. There is so much you could add to our debates.

Bob Jensen

Does anybody out there have feedback regarding this in-home tutoring service (includes accounting with pictures of the tutors)?

If I were to seek out tutoring I would first look at the many free tutorials on almost any topic (including advanced topics like hedge accounting) on YouTube. These vary in quality and do not push to learn like in-home tutors can possibly push to learn.

It's a little like learning to play the piano. Sure there are tutorials on YouTube for learning how to play the piano. However, an in-home piano teacher may be more effective and more expensive.


Private In-Home Tutoring

April 15, 2013 message from Jennifer Thomas

Hi Robert,

My name is Jennifer Thomas, and I work for Varsity Tutors. We have recently launched a powerful new academic resource: a comprehensive suite of completely free practice tests, flashcards, and questions of the day for standardized tests and academic subjects of all levels: www.varsitytutors.com/practice-tests 

We noticed that you offer assistance to your students in locating resources to help them with courses and tests. Would you please consider also adding our free practice test webpage to your list of resources?

If you would like any further information in order to consider listing us, please let me know. Attached is an overview highlighting all the features of our online testing tools. Again, our free practice test resource can be found here: www.varsitytutors.com/practice-tests.

Thank you very much for your time and I hope that you'll take advantage of this great free resource!


Jennifer Thomas


Made in the USA:  Renaissance in US Manufacturing (But Not Jobs So Much)
From the Barry Ritholtz Blog on April 12, 2013

Fascinating cover story in Time magazine about the renaissance in US Manufacturing.

What is so interesting about this is while new businesses are being created, the amount and kinds of jobs that go with this are very different than what the manufacturing sector produced in the past.

Some takeaways from the article:

• Post-recession, U.S. manufacturing growth is outpacing other advanced nations;

• 500,000 manufacturing jobs created in the USA over the past three years;

• U.S. factories access to cheap energy, (oil and gas from the shale boom) means cheaper costs versus expensive overseas Oil and costly shipping prices.

• Energy- and resource-intensive industries (chemicals, wood products, heavy machinery and appliances) do better, powered by that cheaper homegrown energy.

• New made-in-America economics is centered largely on cutting-edge technologies (3D printing, specialized metals, robotics and bioengineering);

• New US factories are “superautomated” and heavily roboticized;

• Employees typically are required to have computer skills and specialized training; Minimum of two-year tech degree, which is likely to rise to four-year degree (eventually);

More machines and fewer workers is the future of manufacturing in the USA. But looking only at factories misses some of the new jobs that are related to these industries. Many of the jobs created are outside the factory floors — R&D, support services, software engineers, data scientists, user-experience designers, transportation & shipping, etc.

Perhaps this helps to explain why every $1 of manufacturing activity returns $1.48 to the economy.

Here is an excerpt:

“Today’s U.S. factories aren’t the noisy places where your grandfather knocked in four bolts a minute for eight hours a day. Dungarees and lunch pails are out; computer skills and specialized training are in, since the new made-in-America economics is centered largely on cutting-edge technologies. The trick for U.S. companies is to develop new manufacturing techniques ahead of global competitors and then use them to produce goods more efficiently on superautomated factory floors. These factories of the future have more machines and fewer workers—and those workers must be able to master the machines. Many new manufacturing jobs require at least a two-year tech degree to complement artisan skills such as welding and milling. The bar will only get higher. Some experts believe it won’t be too long before employers expect a four-year degree—a job qualification that will eventually be required in many other places around the world too.

Understanding this new look is critical if the U.S. wants to nurture manufacturing and grow jobs. There are implications for educators (who must ensure that future workers have the right skills) as well as policy­makers (who may have to set new educational standards). “Manufacturing is coming back, but it’s evolving into a very different type of animal than the one most people recognize today,” says James Manyika, a director at McKinsey Global Institute who specializes in global high tech. “We’re going to see new jobs, but nowhere near the number some people expect, especially in the short term.”

If the U.S. can get this right, though, the payoff will be tremendous. Labor statistics actually shortchange the importance of manufacturing because they mainly count jobs inside factories, and related positions in, say, Ford’s marketing department or at small businesses doing industrial design or creating software for big exporters don’t get tallied. Yet those jobs wouldn’t exist but for the big factories. The official figure for U.S. manufacturing employment, 9%, belies the importance of the sector for the overall economy. Manufacturing represents a whopping 67% of private-sector R&D spending as well as 30% of the country’s productivity growth. Every $1 of manufacturing activity returns $1.48 to the economy. “The ability to make things is fundamental to the ability to innovate things over the long term,” says Willy Shih, a Harvard Business School professor and co-author of Producing Prosperity: Why America Needs a Manufacturing Renaissance. “When you give up making products, you lose a lot of the added value.” In other words, what you make makes you.”

The full article is well worth your time to read . . . ---
Made in the USA --- http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2140793,00.html
Rana Foroohar and Bill Saporito
Time, April 2013   

Robotics Displacing Labor Even in Higher Education
"The New Industrial Revolution," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, March  25, 2013 ---

"Rethink Robotics invented a $22,000 humanoid (i.e. trainable) robot that competes with low-wage workers," by Antonio Regalado, MIT's Technology Review, January 16, 2013 --- Click Here

"Rise of the Robots," by Paul Krugman, The New York Times, December 8, 2012 ---

Catherine Rampell and Nick Wingfield write about the growing evidence for “reshoring” of manufacturing to the United States. They cite several reasons: rising wages in Asia; lower energy costs here; higher transportation costs. In a followup piece, however, Rampell cites another factor: robots.

The most valuable part of each computer, a motherboard loaded with microprocessors and memory, is already largely made with robots, according to my colleague Quentin Hardy. People do things like fitting in batteries and snapping on screens.

As more robots are built, largely by other robots, “assembly can be done here as well as anywhere else,” said Rob Enderle, an analyst based in San Jose, Calif., who has been following the computer electronics industry for a quarter-century. “That will replace most of the workers, though you will need a few people to manage the robots.”

Robots mean that labor costs don’t matter much, so you might as well locate in advanced countries with large markets and good infrastructure (which may soon not include us, but that’s another issue). On the other hand, it’s not good news for workers!

This is an old concern in economics; it’s “capital-biased technological change”, which tends to shift the distribution of income away from workers to the owners of capital.

Twenty years ago, when I was writing about globalization and inequality, capital bias didn’t look like a big issue; the major changes in income distribution had been among workers (when you include hedge fund managers and CEOs among the workers), rather than between labor and capital. So the academic literature focused almost exclusively on “skill bias”, supposedly explaining the rising college premium.

But the college premium hasn’t risen for a while. What has happened, on the other hand, is a notable shift in income away from labor:.

"Harley Goes Lean to Build Hogs," by James R. Hagerty, The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2012 ---

If the global economy slips into a deep slump, American manufacturers including motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc. that have embraced flexible production face less risk of veering into a ditch.

Until recently, the company's sprawling factory here had a lack of automation that made it an industrial museum. Now, production that once was scattered among 41 buildings is consolidated into one brightly lighted facility where robots do more heavy lifting. The number of hourly workers, about 1,000, is half the level of three years ago and more than 100 of those workers are "casual" employees who come and go as needed.

All the jobs are not going to Asia, They're going to Hal --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_Space_Oddessey
"When Machines Do Your Job: Researcher Andrew McAfee says advances in computing and artificial intelligence could create a more unequal society," by Antonio Regalado, MIT's Technology Review, July 11, 2012 ---

"Raytheon's Missiles Are Now Made by Robots," by Ashlee Vance, Bloomberg Business Week, December 11, 2012 ---

A World Without Work," by Dana Rousmaniere, Harvard Business Review Blog, January 27, 2013 --- Click Here

Walter E. Williams --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_E._Williams
"Black Unemployment," by Walter E. Williams, Townhall, April 10, 2013 ---

Jensen Question
Will students and faculty be totally out of the loop when computers write the questions, computers write the answers, and computers grade the answers?

"22 Thoughts on Automated Grading of Student Writing," by John Warner, Inside Higher Ed, April 10, 2013 ---

EdX, the online learning consortium of Harvard and M.I.T., believes it is close to a workable model for the automated grading of student writing.

According to Dr. Anant Argawal, President of EdX, “This is machine learning and there is a long way to go, but it’s good enough and the upside is huge. We found that the quality of the grading is similar to the variation you find from instructor to instructor.”

Since this news was released last week, I’ve been trying to respond in a coherent, essay-like piece of writing that ties together various thoughts and ideas into a cohesive and satisfying whole.

I’m giving up on that. This is the Internet, right? I’ve made a list.

22 Thoughts on the News that Automated Grading has Arrived

1. I’m willing to stipulate that if not today, very soon, software will be developed that can assign a numerical grade to student writing that largely gibes with human assessment. If a computer can win Jeopardy, it can probably spit out a number for a student essay close to that of a human grader.

2. On the other hand, computers cannot read.

3. No one who teaches writing, or values writing as part of their courses believes that the numerical grade is the important part of assessment. Ask anyone who’s taught more than a couple of semesters of composition and they’ll tell you that they “know” an essay’s grade within the first 30 seconds of reading. If that’s all I’m supposed to be doing, my job just got a lot easier.

4. Meaning, quite obviously, what is important about assessing writing is the response to the student author that allows them reflect on their work and improve their approach in subsequent drafts/future assignments.

5. I don’t know a single instructor of writing who enjoys grading.

6. At the same time, the only way, and I mean the only way to develop a relationship with one’s students is to read and respond to their work. Automated grading is supposed to “free” the instructor for other tasks, except there is no more important task. Grading writing, while time consuming and occasionally unpleasant, is simply the price of doing business.

7. The only motivations for even experimenting, let alone embracing automated grading of student writing are business-related.

8. Since we know that Watson the computer is better at Jeopardy than even its all-time greatest champions, why haven’t potential contestants been “freed” to do other things like watch three competing software algorithms answer Jeopardy questions asked by an animatronic Alex Trebek?

9. Is it possible that there are some things we should leave to people, rather than software? Do we remember that “efficiency” and “productivity” are not actually human values? If essays need to be graded, shouldn't we figure out ways for humans to do it?

10. There is maybe (emphasis on maybe) a limited argument that this kind of software could be used to grade short answer writing for exams in something like a history or literature course where key words and concepts are most important in terms of assessing a “good” answer.

11. Except that if the written assessment is such that it can be graded accurately by software, that’s probably not very good assessment. If what’s important are the facts and key concepts, won’t multiple-choice do?

12. The second most misguided statement in the New York Times article covering the EdX announcement is this from Anant Argawal, “There is a huge value in learning with instant feedback. Students are telling us they learn much better with instant feedback.” This statement is misguided because instant feedback immediately followed by additional student attempts is actually antithetical to everything we know about the writing process. Good writing is almost always the product of reflection and revision. The feedback must be processed, and only then can it be implemented. Writing is not a video game.

13. I’m thinking about video games, and how I learn playing them. For a couple of years, I got very into Rock Band, a music simulator. I was good, world ranked on multiple instruments if you must ask. As one moves towards the higher difficulty songs, frustration sets in and repeated attempts must be made to successfully “play” through one. I remember trying no fewer than 75 times in a row, one attempt after the other, to play the drum part for Rush’s “YYZ,” and each time, I was booed off the stage by my virtual fans. My frustration level reached the point where I almost hurled the entire Rock Band drums apparatus through my (closed) 2nd story window. After that, fearing for my blood pressure and my sanity, I didn’t play Rock Band at all for a couple of weeks. When I did, at last, return to the game, I played “YYZ” through successfully on my first try. Even with video games, time to process what we’ve learned helps.

14. The most misguided statement in the Times article is from Daphne Koller, the founder of Coursera: “It allows students to get immediate feedback on their work, so that learning turns into a game, with students naturally gravitating toward resubmitting the work until they get it right.” 

15. I’m sorry, that’s not misguided, it’s just silly.

16. Every semester, I introduce my students to the diagram for a “rhetorical situation” an equilateral triangle with “writer,” “subject,” and “reader,” each at one of the points. With automated grading, I’ll have to change it to “writer,” “subject,” and “algorithm.”

17. What I’m saying is that writing to the simulacrum is not the same thing as writing to a flesh and blood human being. Software graded writing is like having intimate relations with a RealDoll.

18. How is that not obvious?

19. That MIT and Stanford, two universities of high esteem, are behind EdX and the automated grading nonsense, should cause shame among their faculty, at least the ones that profess in the humanities.

20. I’ve wrestled over including that last one. It seems possibly unfair, but I’m also thinking that it’s time to fight fire with something as strong as fire, and the only weapon at my personal disposal is indignation, righteous or otherwise. This is one of the challenges of writing, thinking of audience and making choices. This choice may anger some potential natural allies, but if those allies who must have a front seat to this nonsense aren’t doing anything, they can hardly be counted as allies.

21. I was encouraged by the reader responses in the Times article. They run at least 10-1 against the idea of automated grading of writing, and many of them are well-argued, and even respond to arguments offered by other commenters. It’s an excellent model for academic conversation.

22. The purpose of writing is to communicate with an audience. In good conscience, we cannot ask students to write something that will not be read. If we cross this threshold, we may as well simply give up on education. I know that I won’t be involved. Let the software “talk” to software. Leave me out of it.

"30 Clients Using Computer-Generated Stories Instead of Writers," by Jason Boog, Media Bistro, February 17, 2012 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on computer grading of essay questions ---

Of Course a Professor Who Does Not Check for Plagiarism Would Not Detect Horrific Plagiariasm
The other day, a student came into the writing center with an essay that she had "written" for her final project. I was a page into it when I understood that it had been horrendously plagiarized, and that I was being used as a preliminary screening service to see if the blatant theft would pass her professor's eye unnoticed. Of course, I knew it would. The professor wasn't particularly perceptive about such things ...

"Successful Plagiarism 101," by Brooks Winchell, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 11, 2013 ---

The other day, a student came into the writing center with an essay that she had "written" for her final project. I was a page into it when I understood that it had been horrendously plagiarized, and that I was being used as a preliminary screening service to see if the blatant theft would pass her professor's eye unnoticed.

Of course, I knew it would. The professor wasn't particularly perceptive about such things, and, frankly, almost every research paper that I had seen for his course had been plagiarized to one degree or another. He taught in the business school and knew a great deal about managing people and businesses but practically nothing about writing or the proper use of sources.

Perhaps he didn't really care. He once asked me to "look over" a manuscript and "check it for grammar." When I found serious structural and content inconsistencies, I felt obligated to inform him. But he self-published the manuscript anyway in its original, unadulterated format.

Still, the professor's student was in front of me with her beautifully articulated copy-and-pasted essay that had undoubtedly originated from some poor doctoral student's dissertation and contained words like "adjudicated" and "prevaricates." I had been tutoring her for weeks at the writing center. I would have loved to believe that the essay was her own work, and that she had made astonishing progress in her writing, due mostly to my own impeccable instruction. However, I had to admit that the leap was, in fact, impossible given the condition of her previous week's work—a narrative essay that had been filled with confused articles, mixed prepositions, sentence fragments, and nonparallel structures, among other problems.

So I had a dilemma. As an educator, I knew there was no earthly way this student could produce a genuine five-page research essay (by tomorrow) with her current skill set. But as a fellow human, I also felt sorry that she had been passed along and never adequately prepared for college-level writing, never shown how to read, how to summarize, or how to select quotes.

What was my responsibility here as her tutor? Clearly, the only reasonable thing to do was to give her a lesson on plagiarism and sternly explain how she might be a better plagiarist in the future.

To start with, I told her, her theme seemed curious to me because it dealt with the inner workings of "lean manufacturing" as it applied to the mass production of bioelectronics. I warned her that the complexity of her topic choice might raise an astute professor's brow. More than one student plagiarist has been apprehended trying to pass off as his own work a Marxist reading of Willy Loman, or a metrical analysis of Yeats's "Among School Children," when the student should have been describing Loman as a pathetic loser or comparing Yeats to a jelly doughnut.

Worse, she had plagiarized a source that was well beyond her syntactical command. It was obvious from word choice and sentence construction that the essay had been written by someone with a profound understanding of the Efficiency Movement of the early 20th century. A professor attuned to plagiarism, I told her, would immediately pick up on obscure words and phrases as signs of plagiarism, and would retrieve the evidence from the Web.

A properly plagiarized essay, however, would contain no obscure Latinate terminology. Every word would be three syllables or less. The sentences would be basic, with maybe a few of the compound variety, but no complex ones under any circumstances, and absolutely no idioms. Not only did her use of obscure language make the offense more glaring, but it also made reworking the paper a near impossibility as no contemporary thesaurus would be helpful in suggesting alternate wording for technical phrases.

The student agreed and promised to avoid any syntactically complicated sources in future plagiarisms. However, that was only the tip of her problem, as I went on to inform her, because even if she had chosen a source with a somewhat basic paragraph and sentence structure, she would still need to rearrange the lexicon to make it mirror her own vernacular so that the professor wouldn't be alarmed by the disparity between her speech and her writing style.

For that reason, certain portions of the essay needed to be altered regardless of their grammatical correctness. In fact, I advised her, a grammatical inconsistency would go a long way toward boosting her credibility as an "original author" and dispel any hints of plagiarism. I suggested that she misspell every few words or remove an occasional article, out of principle.

In addition, the quotations must not be seamlessly integrated into the research. To give the essay more authenticity, I suggested she remove the introduction to every third quote, and neglect explanations altogether so that the quotes would stand out like little quarantined strangers in her essay. Better yet, she could replace every fifth quote with a line from Disney's Fantasia, or at the very least, with a text message so as to create the impression of authorial distraction or perhaps technological interlude. Maybe she could insert a "2" for "too," a "B" for "be," or an emoticon or an LOL in place of a genuine emotional response.

Still, no matter how she reworded it, an entirely plagiarized essay would always appear as a unified whole and, thus, raise suspicion in an alert professor due to its very consistency. The professor would ask: "Where are the essay's digressions? Where are its disconnected paragraphs?"

And so I told her that to be truly thorough in her plagiarism, she actually needed to copy from a variety of sources so that the inconsistency in voice would appear genuine to the academic reader. In addition, since structuring such a sophisticated act of plagiarism would be a near impossibility for the student, the inevitable mixed bag that resulted would undoubtedly replicate with accuracy a struggling student's writing.

Continued in article

"Plagiarism, Profanity, Fraud, and Design," by Josh Keller, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 4, 2011 --- Click Here

"30 Clients Using Computer-Generated Stories Instead of Writers," by Jason Boog, Media Bistro, February 17, 2012 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at

I would certainly hate to be the TIAA employee who has to decide what lifetime fixed income retirement deals to offer the bubble of baby boomer college employees who will be retiring over the next few years. The blue line below is below 2%.

Thank you ever so much Ben Bernanke ---
Good work for "screwing" the retirees while they scratch their heads trying to figure out how to earn something on their savings without taking on on volatile stock market risks in these precarious economic times.

Moody’s Corporate AAA bond yields versus US 10yr Constant Maturity Yield to 1857 ---


Warnings from a Theoretical Physicist With an Interest in Economics and Finance
"Beware of Economists (and accoutnics scientists) Peddling Elegant Models," by Mark Buchanan, Bloomberg, April 7, 2013 ---

. . .

In one very practical and consequential area, though, the allure of elegance has exercised a perverse and lasting influence. For several decades, economists have sought to express the way millions of people and companies interact in a handful of pretty equations.

The resulting mathematical structures, known as dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models, seek to reflect our messy reality without making too much actual contact with it. They assume that economic trends emerge from the decisions of only a few “representative” agents -- one for households, one for firms, and so on. The agents are supposed to plan and act in a rational way, considering the probabilities of all possible futures and responding in an optimal way to unexpected shocks.

Surreal Models

Surreal as such models might seem, they have played a significant role in informing policy at the world’s largest central banks. Unfortunately, they don’t work very well, and they proved spectacularly incapable of accommodating the way markets and the economy acted before, during and after the recent crisis.

Now, some economists are beginning to pursue a rather obvious, but uglier, alternative. Recognizing that an economy consists of the actions of millions of individuals and firms thinking, planning and perceiving things differently, they are trying to model all this messy behavior in considerable detail. Known as agent-based computational economics, the approach is showing promise.

Take, for example, a 2012 (and still somewhat preliminary) study by a group of economists, social scientists, mathematicians and physicists examining the causes of the housing boom and subsequent collapse from 2000 to 2006. Starting with data for the Washington D.C. area, the study’s authors built up a computational model mimicking the behavior of more than two million potential homeowners over more than a decade. The model included detail on each individual at the level of race, income, wealth, age and marital status, and on how these characteristics correlate with home buying behavior.

Led by further empirical data, the model makes some simple, yet plausible, assumptions about the way people behave. For example, homebuyers try to spend about a third of their annual income on housing, and treat any expected house-price appreciation as income. Within those constraints, they borrow as much money as lenders’ credit standards allow, and bid on the highest-value houses they can. Sellers put their houses on the market at about 10 percent above fair market value, and reduce the price gradually until they find a buyer.

The model captures things that dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models do not, such as how rising prices and the possibility of refinancing entice some people to speculate, buying more-expensive houses than they otherwise would. The model accurately fits data on the housing market over the period from 1997 to 2010 (not surprisingly, as it was designed to do so). More interesting, it can be used to probe the deeper causes of what happened.

Consider, for example, the assertion of some prominent economists, such as Stanford University’s John Taylor, that the low-interest-rate policies of the Federal Reserve were to blame for the housing bubble. Some dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models can be used to support this view. The agent- based model, however, suggests that interest rates weren’t the primary driver: If you keep rates at higher levels, the boom and bust do become smaller, but only marginally.

Leverage Boom

A much more important driver might have been leverage -- that is, the amount of money a homebuyer could borrow for a given down payment. In the heady days of the housing boom, people were able to borrow as much as 100 percent of the value of a house -- a form of easy credit that had a big effect on housing demand. In the model, freezing leverage at historically normal levels completely eliminates both the housing boom and the subsequent bust.

Does this mean leverage was the culprit behind the subprime debacle and the related global financial crisis? Not necessarily. The model is only a start and might turn out to be wrong in important ways. That said, it makes the most convincing case to date (see my blog for more detail), and it seems likely that any stronger case will have to be based on an even deeper plunge into the messy details of how people behaved. It will entail more data, more agents, more computation and less elegance.

If economists jettisoned elegance and got to work developing more realistic models, we might gain a better understanding of how crises happen, and learn how to anticipate similarly unstable episodes in the future. The theories won’t be pretty, and probably won’t show off any clever mathematics. But we ought to prefer ugly realism to beautiful fantasy.

(Mark Buchanan, a theoretical physicist and the author of “The Social Atom: Why the Rich Get Richer, Cheaters Get Caught and Your Neighbor Usually Looks Like You,” is a Bloomberg View columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

Jensen Comment
Bob Jensen's threads on the mathematical formula that probably led to the economic collapse after mortgage lenders peddled all those poisoned mortgages ---

Can the 2008 investment banking failure be traced to a math error?
Recipe for Disaster:  The Formula That Killed Wall Street --- http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/17-03/wp_quant?currentPage=all
Link forwarded by Jim Mahar ---

Some highlights:

"For five years, Li's formula, known as a Gaussian copula function, looked like an unambiguously positive breakthrough, a piece of financial technology that allowed hugely complex risks to be modeled with more ease and accuracy than ever before. With his brilliant spark of mathematical legerdemain, Li made it possible for traders to sell vast quantities of new securities, expanding financial markets to unimaginable levels.

His method was adopted by everybody from bond investors and Wall Street banks to ratings agencies and regulators. And it became so deeply entrenched—and was making people so much money—that warnings about its limitations were largely ignored.

Then the model fell apart." The article goes on to show that correlations are at the heart of the problem.

"The reason that ratings agencies and investors felt so safe with the triple-A tranches was that they believed there was no way hundreds of homeowners would all default on their loans at the same time. One person might lose his job, another might fall ill. But those are individual calamities that don't affect the mortgage pool much as a whole: Everybody else is still making their payments on time.

But not all calamities are individual, and tranching still hadn't solved all the problems of mortgage-pool risk. Some things, like falling house prices, affect a large number of people at once. If home values in your neighborhood decline and you lose some of your equity, there's a good chance your neighbors will lose theirs as well. If, as a result, you default on your mortgage, there's a higher probability they will default, too. That's called correlation—the degree to which one variable moves in line with another—and measuring it is an important part of determining how risky mortgage bonds are."

I would highly recommend reading the entire thing that gets much more involved with the actual formula etc.

The “math error” might truly be have been an error or it might have simply been a gamble with what was perceived as miniscule odds of total market failure. Something similar happened in the case of the trillion-dollar disastrous 1993 collapse of Long Term Capital Management formed by Nobel Prize winning economists and their doctoral students who took similar gambles that ignored the “miniscule odds” of world market collapse -- -

The rhetorical question is whether the failure is ignorance in model building or risk taking using the model?

Also see
"In Plato's Cave:  Mathematical models are a powerful way of predicting financial markets. But they are fallible" The Economist, January 24, 2009, pp. 10-14 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#Bailout

Wall Street’s Math Wizards Forgot a Few Variables
What wasn’t recognized was the importance of a different species of risk — liquidity risk,” Stephen Figlewski, a professor of finance at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University, told The Times. “When trust in counterparties is lost, and markets freeze up so there are no prices,” he said, it “really showed how different the real world was from our models.
DealBook, The New York Times, September 14, 2009 ---

An Excellent Presentation on the Flaws of Finance, Particularly the Flaws of Financial Theorists

A recent topic on the AECM listserv concerns the limitations of accounting standard setters and researchers when it comes to understanding investors. One point that was not raised in the thread to date is that a lot can be learned about investors from the top financial analysts of the world --- their writings and their conferences.

A Plenary Session Speech at a Chartered Financial Analysts Conference
Video: James Montier’s 2012 Chicago CFA Speech The Flaws of Finance ---
Note that it takes over 15 minutes before James Montier begins

Major Themes

  1. The difference between physics versus finance models is that physicists know the limitations of their models.
  2. Another difference is that components (e.g., atoms) of a physics model are not trying to game the system.
  3. The more complicated the model in finance the more the analyst is trying to substitute theory for experience.
  4. There's a lot wrong with Value at Risk (VaR) models that regulators ignored.
  5. The assumption of market efficiency among regulators (such as Alan Greenspan) was a huge mistake that led to excessively low interest rates and bad behavior by banks and credit rating agencies.
  6. Auditors succumbed to self-serving biases of favoring their clients over public investors.
  7. Banks were making huge gambles on other peoples' money.
  8. Investors themselves ignored risk such as poisoned CDO risks when they should've known better. I love his analogy of black swans on a turkey farm.
  9. Why don't we see surprises coming (five excellent reasons given here)?
  10. The only group of people who view the world realistically are the clinically depressed.
  11. Model builders should stop substituting elegance for reality.
  12. All financial theorists should be forced to interact with practitioners.
  13. Practitioners need to abandon the myth of optimality before the fact.
    Jensen Note
    This also applies to abandoning the myth that we can set optimal accounting standards.
  14. In the long term fundamentals matter.
  15. Don't get too bogged down in details at the expense of the big picture.
  16. Max Plank said science advances one funeral at a time.
  17. The speaker then entertains questions from the audience (some are very good).

Bob Jensen's threads about the 2007 economic collapse and recovery ---

Added Flexibility in 2013 AACSB Standards? Is it really so?

I thought the AACSB had already gone about as far as possible to make accreditation standards extremely over the past two decades when the AACSB opted for "mission driven" standards rather than rather uniform former business school standards.

The AACSB also became more flexible when it expanded "terminally qualified" faculty to include non-Ph.D professionally qualified (PQ) faculty, In addition it adopted a "bridging program" for allowing faculty with non-business Ph.D. degrees (such as education and engineering doctorates) to be academically qualified (AQ).

To my knowledge, however, the AACSB is still largely a guild of traditional university business deans that resists accreditation of non-traditional business schools such as AACSB accreditation of a corporate MBA program (e.g., a Deloitte University business program) or AACSB accreditation of a for-profit business program (e.g., the University of Phoenix which has the largest business education program in North America). .
Have any non-traditional business schools ever been AACSB-accredited in North America?

The standards are already somewhat different for "foreign business schools" (outside the USA and Canada) where the AACSB has been trying to capture more of the prestigious business schools in nations other than the USA and Canada, including some corporate for-profit MBA programs in Europe  that probably would not be accredited if they were in North America.

"Business-School Accreditor Approves New, More-Flexible Standards," by Katherine Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 9, 2013 ---

Business schools would have more flexibility to innovate but would be under more pressure to differentiate themselves under new accrediting standards approved on Monday by AACSB International: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The changes, which follow two years of review by a committee of business deans that consulted with educators and employers worldwide, were unanimously approved during the association's annual meeting, in Chicago.

The updates—the first since 2003—come at a time of rapid growth in the number of foreign business schools, with varying structures and rigor, that are seeking accreditation from AACSB. The association, which now accredits 672 institutions in nearly 50 countries and territories, must balance calls for more flexibility with concerns by some members in the United States that changing its standards could water down quality and compromise the AACSB brand.

Jan R. Williams, a former dean of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville's College of Business Administration, was one of several panelists who described the updated standards during a Webcast on Tuesday. While they will open the door for more schools to qualify for accreditation, he maintained, the process won't be less rigorous.

"Flexibility doesn't mean easier," said Mr. Williams. "It simply means the standards are more adaptable to schools in different countries with different cultures," as well as those in the United States with different missions, he said.

'A Jack of All Trades'

John Fernandes, president of AACSB, said in an interview on Tuesday that schools would have to do a better job of carving out those missions. "The days of being a jack of all trades and master of none are over," he said.

The new standards, whittled down to 15 from a list of 21, emphasize innovation, impact, and engagement. They try to make business education more relevant to the changing needs of students and employers, in part by acknowledging the growing interest in online learning.

The standards also seek to measure the influence each business school has on its graduates and on society, an approach that may require a closer look at factors such as graduation rates, placement success, and the impact of faculty research.

Among other changes, the new standards:

The standards will continue to give schools leeway to hire faculty members with expertise in business, not necessarily business education. A shortage of faculty members with doctorates makes recruiting difficult and expensive, and forces many schools to hire more practitioners and scholars from other fields. Practitioners bring real-world experience that can make curricula more relevant to business needs, the panelists pointed out.

Continued in article "intellectual-contribution standard away from counting journal articles"

Jensen Comment
Refocusing on "intellectual-contribution standard away from counting journal articles" is fine for professionally qualified faculty (such as CPAs without doctoral  degrees) not on a tenure track. However, getting PQ faculty on a tenure track is not really within the jurisdiction of the AACSB. Each college and university sets its own criteria for tenure, and the powerful humanities and science divisions are generally very protective of that Ph.D. criterion as well as a journal counting criterion.

The higher-level college-wide Promotion and Tenure (P&T) committees already sigh when comparing a chemistry tenure candidate having 23 refereed journal publications with a business school candidate having eight  refereed journal publications.

Like it or not P&T committees are not going to abandon counting such publications no matter what the AACSB allows for accreditation.

Having said this, I'm all in favor of giving more P&T credit to refereed practitioner journals that are highly respected in the profession even if accountics science professors hold their noses.

Robert Zoellick --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Zoellick

Whew! That was a close one. We almost had a (possibly) conservative commencement speaker at a prestigious USA College.

"A Speaker Withdraws at Swarthmore," by Zack Budryk, Inside Higher Ed, April 8, 2013 ---

Jensen Comment
It would be far better to invite Michael Moore to preach to the choir ---

"The Happiest People Pursue the Most Difficult Problems," by Steven Berglas, Harvard Business Review Blog, April 10, 2013 ---

Jensen Comment
Probably XXXXX University's top (tenured) mathematics research professor was forced by the University enter into anger management counseling as a condition to his reappointment. We had been good friends over the years, although I lost touch with him since he changed universities.

The above article does explain why some accountics scientists are so unhappy and defensive. They avoid the most difficult research problems of collecting their own data in the real world. Instead they take the easy way out by mining data in purchased databases.

This begs the question of why creativity in accounting research is a rare event in terms of original inventions in the halls of our Academy ---

Why genius lies in the selection of what is worth observing.
"The Art of Observation and How to Master the Crucial Difference Between Observation and Intuition," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, March 29, 2013
This selection has a number of historic photographs of well-known scientists --- all women!

“In the field of observation,” legendary disease prevention pioneer Louis Pasteur famously proclaimed in 1854, “chance favors only the prepared mind.” “Knowledge comes form noticing resemblances and recurrences in the events that happen around us,” neuroscience godfather Wilfred Trotter asserted. That keen observation is what transmutes information into knowledge is indisputable — look no further than Sherlock Holmes and his exquisite mindfulness for a proof — but how, exactly, does one cultivate that critical faculty?

From The Art of Scientific Investigation (public library; public domain) by Cambridge University animal pathology professor W. I. B. Beveridge — the same fantastic 1957 compendium that explored the role of the intuition and imagination in science and how serendipity and “chance opportunism” fuel discovery — comes a timeless meditation on the art of observation, which he insists “is not passively watching but is an active mental process,” and the importance of distinguishing it from what we call intuition.

Though a number of celebrated minds favored intuition over rationality, and even Beveridge himself extolled the merits of the intuitive in science, he sides with modern-day admonitions about our tendency to mislabel other cognitive processes as “intuition” and advises:

It is important to realize that observation is much more than merely seeing something; it also involves a mental process. In all observations there are two elements : (a) the sense-perceptual element (usually visual) and (b) the mental, which, as we have seen, may be partly conscious and partly unconscious. Where the sense-perceptual element is relatively unimportant, it is often difficult to distinguish between an observation and an ordinary intuition. For example, this sort of thing is usually referred to as an observation: “I have noticed that I get hay fever whenever I go near horses.” The hay fever and the horses are perfectly obvious, it is the connection between the two that may require astuteness to notice at first, and this is a mental process not distinguishable from an intuition. Sometimes it is possible to draw a line between the noticing and the intuition, e.g. Aristotle commented that on observing that the bright side of the moon is always toward the sun, it may suddenly occur to the observer that the explanation is that the moon shines by the light of the sun.

For the practical applications of observation, Beveridge turns to French physiologist Claude Bernard’s model, pointing out the connection-making necessary for creativity:

Claude Bernard distinguished two types of observation: (a) spontaneous or passive observations which are unexpected; and (b) induced or active observations which are deliberately sought, usually on account of an hypothesis. … Effective spontaneous observation involves firstly noticing some object or event. The thing noticed will only become significant if the mind of the observer either consciously or unconsciously relates it to some relevant knowledge or past experience, or if in pondering on it subsequently he arrives at some hypothesis. In the last section attention was called to the fact that the mind is particularly sensitive to changes or differences. This is of use in scientific observation, but what is more important and more difficult is to observe (in this instance mainly a mental process) resemblances or correlations between things that on the surface appeared quite unrelated.

Echoing Jean Jacques Rousseau’s timeless words that “real wisdom is not the knowledge of everything, but the knowledge of which things in life are necessary, which are less necessary, and which are completely unnecessary to know” and Noam Chomsky’s similar assertion centuries later, Beveridge cautions:

One cannot observe everything closely, therefore one must discriminate and try to select the significant. When practicing a branch of science, the ‘trained’ observer deliberately looks for specific things which his training has taught him are significant, but in research he often has to rely on his own discrimination, guided only by his general scientific knowledge, judgment and perhaps an hypothesis which he entertains.

Continued in article


Review of the Book:  Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care?
"Self-Fulfilling Professorial Politics," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Education, April 9, 2013 ---

Conspiracy theories abound when it comes to professors and politics. To hear some conservatives tell it, a liberal-dominated professoriate attempts to brainwash students and to keep out of the faculty club any who challenge leftist orthodoxy. Ph.D. programs in the humanities teach some sort of secret handshake that lets those with politically correct views land the best jobs. To hear some liberals talk about it, there is no such thing as a liberal professoriate. Rather, a well-financed group of conservatives and their foundations use the politics issue to trash higher education. If there aren't more conservative professors around, it's because those on the right prefer the world of money to the world of ideas, and flock to Wall Street.

Neil Gross will disappoint most of the conspiracy theorists with his new book, Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care?, which is being released today by Harvard University Press.

Gross has spent years conducting research -- large-scale national surveys and smaller experiments and focus groups -- on professorial politics. And the book combines many of his studies, interviews with players in the debate, and a mix of history and sociology.

From the part of the book title that asks "why are professors liberal," it's clear that Gross has no problem saying that faculty members are in fact, on average, to the left of most other Americans. The degree to which this is true may differ by institution and discipline, and there are of course plenty of exceptions. But Gross cites his own past research to show that professors do indeed lean to the left. But that same research shows that most faculty members are not as radical as many believe and that there is a large center-left following in the academy.

Gross himself fits into that group. A professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia, he notes that he is an American expat and a Democrat. He writes that he has "very liberal social attitudes and more center-left views when it comes to issues like government regulation of the market and criminal justice policy." He writes that he tried not to let his politics influence his research or the writing here -- and the tone of the book, even when criticizing various ideas, is not dogmatic or partisan. (In a sign that he succeeded, The Weekly Standard published a generally positive review of the book by Mark Bauerlein, an Emory University professor who has written critically about ideological trends in academe.)

But while Gross doesn't view it as a particularly difficult question to determine whether professors are disproportionately liberal, he acknowledges the difficulty of explaining why, and he reviews various approaches to answering the question. He cites a series of studies he has done that suggest a self-selection at play in explaining why liberals are more likely than conservatives to gravitate toward Ph.D. programs that will lead to the professoriate. (Some of his past work that relates to this theme may be found here and here.)

And one way Gross backs up his theory of self-selection is by analyzing the potential for discrimination in graduate programs. With colleagues, he conducted an "audit" of graduate programs, sending off e-mails to graduate directors of programs in a variety of disciplines, posing as undergraduates looking for the right place to apply. The messages were similar in describing academic backgrounds, but some mentioned nothing about politics, while others briefly mentioned past experience working for either the Obama or McCain campaigns. (This project was done following the 2008 presidential election.) The idea was to test whether students might receive more or less encouragement based on their politics -- and no bias was found.

While some of the book explains and analyzes these findings, Gross also considers why the idea of a liberal professoriate is so powerful with some conservatives. He includes history of the William F. Buckley critique of professors as liberal and anti-religion, and notes that much of the frustration has come from people who care about ideas and who (in the case of Buckley and some of the National Review crowd) can hardly have been called populists.

But he also notes the strong resonance for many in the general public with the idea of professors as elite, liberal and disconnected. While he reviews the extent to which conservative foundations have funded organizations that have made a big deal out of professorial politics, he suggests that the views of many people about academics operate independently of anything David Horowitz said or did.

In an interview, Gross discussed why he sees it as crucial for academe to have a better handle on issues of faculty politics -- and it's not because it answers critics who say that academe imposes an ideological litmus test on professors. Rather, he thinks the findings pose challenges for those across the ideological spectrum.

For those who are conservative, and profess to care about a partisan imbalance in academe, Gross said, there is the question of whether their own statements are discouraging young conservatives from going to graduate school to prepare to become professors. The conservative undergraduate who reads about alleged liberal academic outrages all the time may simply come to view academe as a less-than-hospitable employer -- even if that's not necessarily the case.

But cutting back on the rhetoric may be easier said than done. "Among some conservatives, opposition to the liberal professoriate has become part of the identity, part of what it means to be a conservative," he said.

Perhaps, he said, now could be a time for such a re-evaluation. After all, some Republican leaders are arguing in the wake of President Obama's re-election that the party has been hurt by its image of being intolerant of immigrants and various other groups. "Higher ed is no less of a high-profile issue than immigration," Gross noted, and many Republicans have expressed concerns about voting trends (away from the party) by young voters. If conservatives were to tone down rhetoric about higher education, he said, they might see more people they agree with try to become professors.

Gross acknowledged seeing no signs to date that the conservatives are moving in this direction.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the liberal bias of the major media and higher education ---

From the Scout Report on April 5, 2013

Scratchpad 6.0 --- http://www.autohotkey.com/board/topic/86834-scratchpad-snippets-and-notes-for-programmers-and-students/

Scratchpad is "a quick-and-dirty note taking tool with a minimum of frills." It was designed specifically for students and programmers to document code changes as they happen. This will save programmers from having an extra program on their taskbar. This handy utility is compatible with all operating systems.

Wave Timer 1.1 --- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wave-timer-hands-free-timer/id574346967?mt=8

The Wave Timer is a cut about the average kitchen timer. This handy application allows users to turn off the alarm at the wave of a hand. It's a fine way to keep a phone nice and clean as potentially dirty hands won’t touch the phone's shiny surface again. This version is compatible with devices running iOS 5.0 and newer.

Amidst a bucolic New England backdrop, the maple syrup industry is
going high-tech
High-Tech Means of Production Belies the Nostalgic Image of Maple Syrup

Birch syrup explored as add-on to maple industry

Maple-syrup making way of life for Salem family

Produces hope for successful maple syrup season

Maple Research Website

Maple Syrup

Bob Jensen's Maple Syrup Photographs ---
My Maple Tree and Maple Sugaring Favorite Photographs


From the Scout Report on April 12, 2013

WriteApp --- https://writeapp.me/ 

Writing on a computer with access to the Internet (and other matters) can be distracting. WriteApp helps offering a less distracting, browser-based environment to get your writing done. Visitors can use the application to compose short notes or long-form pieces with excellent formatting options. They can write out thoughts in an email and have them set in a variety of formats and settings. This version is compatible with all operating systems.

Threadlife --- https://www.threadlife.com/ 

Threadlife is a great way to record videos quickly on your mobile device in three second segments. The device allows visitors to record these segments and link them together in "stitches." One particularly cool feature allows users to collaborate and to share their videos. Visitors should look at the "What is Threadlife?" area before they get started for a nice guide to the application. This version is compatible with all devices running iOS 6.0 and later.

Despite making some headway, America's infrastructure could use a bit
of help
NPR: U.S. Gets Low Marks on Infrastructure From Engineers' Group

It's no quick economic fix, but America will pay the price if it neglects
its infrastructure

Using Pension Funds to Build Infrastructure and Put Americans to Work

Federal Highway Administration: Bridge Technology

The History of Large Federal Dams: Planning, Design, and Construction

2013 ReportCard on America's Infrastructure

From the Scout Report on April 19, 2013

SoundGator --- http://www.soundgator.com/ 

The world is full of sounds delightful, eerie, and melodic. If you are looking for sound effects for just about any situation, look no further than the solid aural content right here at the SoundGator website. The offerings here are contained in 26 different categories, including Household Sounds, Fire Sound Effects, Drink Sound Effects, and Crowd Sound Effects. Visitors can search all of the effects as they see fit or browse by categories that include Recently Added and Most Discussed. The materials here are available to embed or download for personal use.

Neater Bookmarks ---  https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/neater-bookmarks/ofgjggbjanlhbgaemjbkiegeebmccifi/

If you have grown weary of a cluttered landscape of bookmarks you may want to give Neater Bookmarks your kind attention. The extension has a clean, crisp look and features a search engine along with a feature that remembers the last opened folders and scroll position. Also, it comes with several keyboard shortcuts that are quite helpful. This version is compatible with all operating systems running Google Chrome.


Free online textbooks, cases, and tutorials in accounting, finance, economics, and statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

Education Tutorials

The Digital Public Library of America Launches Today (April 18, 2013), Opening Up Knowledge for All ---

Listing of Sites for Free Courses and Learning Modules (unlike certificates, transferrable credits are never free) ---

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education and training sites (---
Transcript credits are never free and on occasion universities charge more for online credits than onsite credits earned on campus

Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence --- https://www.schreyerinstitute.psu.edu/

National Endowment for the Arts: Podcasts, Webcasts & Webinars --- http://www.nea.gov/podweb/podCMS/podlist.php

Teacher to Teacher: Critical Thinking in the College Classroom ---
Why Critical Thinking is so Hard to Teach ---

Technology in the Arts --- http://www.technologyinthearts.org/

Subject Guides at Syracuse University Library --- http://researchguides.library.syr.edu/index.php

Ford Foundation: Library --- http://www.fordfoundation.org/library

Ibiblio (library science tutorials and resources) ---  http://www.ibiblio.org/

State of America's Libraries 2013 --- http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/33759128#/33759128/1

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

How the Universe Was Born, Animated: A CERN Explanation ---

Scientific American: 60-Second Science

The Learning Brain: Neuroscience ---

Interactive Course on Magnetic Resonance Imagining (medicine, radiology) --- http://www.imaios.com/en/e-Courses/e-MRI/

Physics Teaching File for Radiology Residents --- http://www.upstate.edu/radiology/education/rsna/

Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys --- http://www.dggs.alaska.gov/

U.S. Energy Information Administration --- http://www.eia.gov/

15 Evolutionary Gems --- http://www.nature.com/nature/newspdf/evolutiongems.pdf

The Digital Archaeological Record --- http://www.tdar.org/

Society of Architectural Historians --- http://www.sah.org/

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association --- http://www.asha.org/

"Video:  Deaf Graduates Tackle Move to Hearing World,"  By Ashley Marchand, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 25, 2010  ---

International Wildlife --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=BUOQ_yPW_0s

Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Science

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

Top Five Reasons Why Africa Should Be a Priority for the United States ---

Mershon Center for International Security Studies (national security) ---  http://mershoncenter.osu.edu/

University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute --- http://www.umtri.umich.edu/news.ph

The Chinese in California, 1850-1925 --- http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/award99/cubhtml/cichome.html

The Cubans in Miami
Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project --- http://merrick.library.miami.edu/cubanHeritage/botifoll/

University of Miami Libraries: Lydia Cabrera Papers --- http://merrick.library.miami.edu/cubanHeritage/chc0339/

U.S. Energy Information Administration --- http://www.eia.gov/

America Revealed (PBS) --- http://www.pbs.org/america-revealed/

John Penley Photographs (squatters rights and housing protests)  --- http://www.flickr.com/photos/tamiment/sets/72157620867253660/

Congressman Frank Annunzio Photo Collection (Italian American History) ---

Existentialism --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existentialism
Existentialism for Dummies (in a comical video)
Friedrich Nietzsche & Existentialism Explained to Five-Year-Olds (in Comical Video by Reddit) --- Click Here

State of America's Libraries 2013 --- http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/33759128#/33759128/1

Ibiblio (library science tutorials and resources) ---  http://www.ibiblio.org/

Bob Jensen's threads on Economics, Anthropology, Social Sciences, and Philosophy tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Social

Law and Legal Studies

Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Law

Math and Statistics Tutorials

Tom Lehrer’s Mathematically and Scientifically Inclined Singing and Songwriting, Animated ---

More on how to lie with statistics, tables, and graphs
"Did Reinhart-Rogoff Screw Up Their Debt Research?" by Barry Ritholtz, April 16th, 2013 ---

Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 Collection ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Mathematics

History Tutorials

Existentialism --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existentialism
Existentialism for Dummies (in a comical video)
Friedrich Nietzsche & Existentialism Explained to Five-Year-Olds (in Comical Video by Reddit) --- Click Here

State of America's Libraries 2013 --- http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/33759128#/33759128/1

The Cubans in Miami
Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project --- http://merrick.library.miami.edu/cubanHeritage/botifoll/

University of Miami Libraries: Lydia Cabrera Papers --- http://merrick.library.miami.edu/cubanHeritage/chc0339/

America Revealed (PBS) --- http://www.pbs.org/america-revealed/

Every Necessary Care & Attention (President George Washington) --- http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/georgewashington/

Rare Letter from Martha to George Washington Returns to Mount Vernon

John Penley Photographs (squatters rights and housing protests)  --- http://www.flickr.com/photos/tamiment/sets/72157620867253660/

National African American Photographic Archive

Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor (Business History in Massachusetts and Rhode Island) --- http://www.nps.gov/blac/index.htm

From Duke University (business history images)
R.C. Maxwell Company Records, 1904-1990s and undated ---

National Gallery of Art: Notable Lectures --- http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/lectures/index.shtm

A Photographer Finds Beauty In Decaying Theaters Around The World ---

Manchester Art Galleries --- http://www.manchestergalleries.org/the-collections/

University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute --- http://www.umtri.umich.edu/news.php

Society of Architectural Historians --- http://www.sah.org/

Latin American Business History: Resources and Research --- http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/laoh/

Humans of New York: Street Photography as a Celebration of Life ---

Artist Shepard Fairey Curates His Favorite YouTube Videos ---

Congressman Frank Annunzio Photo Collection (Italian American History) ---

Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#History
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm  

A Vision of Britain Through Time: Historical Maps --- http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/maps/

Maps of Los Angeles, California, the United States and the World ---

World War I & World War II Propaganda Posters --- http://bir.brandeis.edu/handle/10192/23520 

World War One ( World War I ) Color Photos --- http://www.worldwaronecolorphotos.com/

Language Tutorials

Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Languages

Music Tutorials

“Hummingbird,” A New Form of Music Notation That’s Easier to Learn and Faster to Read --- Click Here

Global Performing Arts Database --- http://www.glopad.org/pi/en/

Remembering Maria Tallchief, America’s Great Prima Ballerina ---

The World According to John Coltrane: His Life & Music Revealed in Heartfelt 1990 Documentary ---

History of Rock: New MOOC Presents the Music of Elvis, Dylan, Beatles, Stones, Hendrix & More --- Click Here

Tom Lehrer’s Mathematically and Scientifically Inclined Singing and Songwriting, Animated ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

Writing Tutorials

"The Writer’s Technique in Thirteen Theses: Walter Benjamin’s Timeless Advice on Writing," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, April 15, 2013

"E. B. White on Egoism and the Art of the Essay," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, April 18, 2013 ---

Do you prefer McDonalds's french fries to McDonald's french fries?

It's common for a business's name to be a proper single name in possessive form, as with McDonald's, T.G.I. Friday's, or Lloyd's of London. Such names function as ordinary proper nouns despite their possessive appearance -- that is, the -'s is part of the noun itself and doesn't signify possession. So technically speaking, the correct possessive would be McDonald's's, T.G.I. Friday's's, etc. (or, in AP style, McDonald's', T.G.I. Friday's', etc.). But because these monstrosities look hopelessly pedantic, the best solution is to rephrase {the french fries at McDonald's [not McDonald's's french fries]} {the closing hours for T.G.I. Friday's [not T.G.I. Friday's's closing hours]}. But it's also defensible to write the McDonald's french fries (with the name functioning attributively) -- and perhaps even McDonald's french fries (though this is strictly illogical).

       If T.G.I. Friday's earnings bothers you, you're not alone. But the cumbersome pedantry of T.G.I. Friday's's earnings is hardly any better. And if someone quarrels with you about the proper form, just refer them to the guidance in Garner's Modern American Usage (but not to Garner's's guidance).
Garner's Modern American Usage 646 (3d ed. 2009).

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers ---

Updates from WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/

April 9, 2013

April 10, 2013

April 11, 2013

April 12, 2013

April 13, 2013

April 15, 2013

April 16, 2013

April 18, 2013

April 19, 2013

April 20, 2013

April 22, 2013


A Bit of Humor

The 40th President of the United States (Richard Prior) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=-_cdbByTeNE

Tom Lehrer’s Mathematically and Scientifically Inclined Singing and Songwriting, Animated ---

The Great Flydini (Steve Martin with Johnny Carson) --- http://rubytooth.com/link/45516

Unusual Brass Band (Humor) --- http://www.wimp.com/brassband/

Forwarded by Gene and Joan

One day, shortly after joining the PGA tour in 1965, Lee Trevino, a professional golfer and married man, was at his home in Dallas , Texas mowing his front lawn, as he always did.

A lady driving by in a big, shiny Cadillac stopped in front of his house, lowered the window and asked, Excuse me, do you speak English?"

Lee responded, Yes Ma'am, I do."

The lady then asked, What do you charge to do yard work?

Lee said, "Well, the lady in this house lets me sleep with her."

The lady hurriedly put the car into gear and sped off.

Forwarded by Gene and Joan

PONDERISMS (some things to think about)

1- I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.

2- There are two kinds of pedestrians . . . The quick and the dead.

3- Life is sexually transmitted.

4- Healthy is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

5- The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

6- Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

7- Have you noticed since everyone has a cell phone these days no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to?

8- Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

9- All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

10- In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

11- How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

12- Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, 'I think I'll squeeze these dangly things and drink whatever comes out'? Hmmmmm, How about eggs ? . . .

13- If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?

14- Why does your OB-GYN leave the room when you get undressed if they are going to look up there anyway?

16- If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?

17- Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?

18- Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

19- Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

Forwarded by Gene and Joan

The toilet seat was invented in Minnesota, but twenty years later an Iowan invented the hole in it.
When Ole accidentally lost 50 cents in the outhouse, he immediately threw in his watch and billfold. He explained, 'I'm not going down dere yust for 50 cents.'
A Norwegian appeared with five other men in a rape case police line-up. As the victim entered the room, the Norwegian blurted, 'Yep, dat's her!'
A Swedish woman competed with a French woman and an English woman in the Breast Stroke division of an English Channel swim competition. The French woman came in first, the English woman second. The Swede reached shore completely exhausted. After being revived with blankets and coffee, she remarked, 'I don't vant to complain, but I tink dose other two girls used der arms.'
Two Norwegians from Minnesota went fishing in Canada and returned with only one fish.. 'The way I figger it, dat fish cost us $400' said the first Norwegian 'Vell,' said the other one, 'At dat price it's a good ting ve didn't catch any more.'
A Swede took a trip to Fargo, North Dakota . While in a bar, an Indian on the next stool spoke to him in a friendly manner ...
'Look,' he said, 'let's have a game if you answer it, I'll buy YOU a drink, if you can't, then you buy ME one, Okay?'
'Ya, dat sounds purty good,' said the Swede. The Indian said, 'My father and my mother had one child. It wasn't my brother. It wasn't my sister. Who was it?'
The Swede scratched his head and finally said, 'I give up. Who vas it?'
'It was ME,' chortled the Indian. So the Swede paid for the drinks.
Back in Sioux Falls the Swede went into a bar and spotted one of his cronies, 'Sven,' he said, 'I got a game. If you can answer a qvestion, I buy you a drink. If you can't, YOU have to buy ME vun. Fair enough?'
'Fair enough,' said Sven. Okay....my fadder and mudder had vun child. It vasn't my brudder, It vasn't my sister, Who vas it?'
'Search me, ' said Sven. 'I give up. Who vas it?'
'It vas some Indian up in Fargo, Nort Dakoda.'
Ole and Lena were getting on in years. Ole was 92 and Lena was 89. One evening they were sitting on the porch in their rockers and Ole reached over and patted Lena on her knee. 'Lena , vat ever happened tew our sex relations?' He asked.
'Vell, Ole, I yust don't know,' replied Lena . 'I don't tink ve even got a card from dem last Christmas.'
Ole bought Lena a piano for her birthday.. A few weeks later, Lars inquired how she was doing with it.
'Oh,' said Ole, 'I persvaded her to svitch to a clarinet.'
'How come?' asked Lars.
'Vell,' Ole answered, 'because vith a clarinet, she can't sing.
The phone rings in the middle of the night when Ole and Lena are in bed and Ole answers. 'Vell how da hell should I know, dats two tousand miles from here' he says and hangs up.
'Who vas dat?' asks Lena .
'I donno, some fool wanting to know if da coast vas clear.
Honeymoon Trip
On their honeymoon trip they were nearing Minneapolis when Ole put his hand on Lena 's knee.
Giggling, Lena said, 'Ole, you can go farther dan dat if you vant to.'
So Ole drove to Duluth.

BEST BAR JOKE....EVER (forwarded by Auntie Bev)

Guy goes into a bar in Louisiana where there's a robot bartender!

The robot says, "What will you have?" 

The guy says, "Whiskey."

The robot brings back his drink and says to the man, "What's your IQ?"

The guy says," 168."

The robot then proceeds to talk about physics, space exploration and medical technology.

The guy leaves, . . . but he is curious . . . So he goes back into the bar.

The robot bartender says, "What will you have?"

The guy says,  "Whiskey."

Again, the robot brings the man his drink and says, "What's your IQ?"

The guy says, "100."

The robot then starts to talk about NASCAR, Budweiser, the Lions and LSU.

The guy leaves, but finds it very interesting, so he thinks he will try it one more time. He goes back into the bar.

The robot says, "What will you have?"

The guy says, "Whiskey," and the robot brings him his whiskey.

The robot then says, "What's your IQ?"

The guy says, "Uh,about 50.

"The robot leans in real close and says, "SO, . . . you people . . still happy . . . with Bob Jensen's Tidbits?"






Tidbits Archives --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/

Online Distance Education Training and Education --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm
For-Profit Universities Operating in the Gray Zone of Fraud  (College, Inc.) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud

Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

How Accountics Scientists Should Change: 
"Frankly, Scarlett, after I get a hit for my resume in The Accounting Review I just don't give a damn"
One more mission in what's left of my life will be to try to change this

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---

Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---


World Clock --- http://www.peterussell.com/Odds/WorldClock.php
Facts about the earth in real time --- http://www.worldometers.info/

Interesting Online Clock and Calendar --- http://home.tiscali.nl/annejan/swf/timeline.swf
Time by Time Zones --- http://timeticker.com/
Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) --- http://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/worldpopulation.htm
         Also see http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/P/Populations.html
Facts about population growth (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U
Projected U.S. Population Growth --- http://www.carryingcapacity.org/projections75.html
Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- http://www.costofwar.com/ 
Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons --- http://zipskinny.com/
Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.

Free (updated) Basic Accounting Textbook --- search for Hoyle at

CPA Examination --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cpa_examination
Free CPA Examination Review Course Courtesy of Joe Hoyle --- http://cpareviewforfree.com/

Rick Lillie's education, learning, and technology blog is at http://iaed.wordpress.com/

Accounting News, Blogs, Listservs, and Social Networking ---

Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm 
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

Accounting program news items for colleges are posted at http://www.accountingweb.com/news/college_news.html
Sometimes the news items provide links to teaching resources for accounting educators.
Any college may post a news item.

Accounting  and Taxation News Sites ---


For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a ListServ (usually for free) go to   http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
AECM (Educators) http://listserv.aaahq.org/cgi-bin/wa.exe?HOME
AECM is an email Listserv list which provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets, multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc.

Over the years the AECM has become the worldwide forum for accounting educators on all issues of accountancy and accounting education, including debates on accounting standards, managerial accounting, careers, fraud, forensic accounting, auditing, doctoral programs, and critical debates on academic (accountics) research, publication, replication, and validity testing.


CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/  (Closed Down)
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
Yahoo (Practitioners)  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xyztalk
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
AccountantsWorld  http://accountantsworld.com/forums/default.asp?scope=1 
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
Business Valuation Group BusValGroup-subscribe@topica.com 
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM
FEI's Financial Reporting Blog
Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, March 2008 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/mar2008/smart_stops.htm

Find news highlights from the SEC, FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board on this financial reporting blog from Financial Executives International. The site, updated daily, compiles regulatory news, rulings and statements, comment letters on standards, and hot topics from the Web’s largest business and accounting publications and organizations. Look for continuing coverage of SOX requirements, fair value reporting and the Alternative Minimum Tax, plus emerging issues such as the subprime mortgage crisis, international convergence, and rules for tax return preparers.
The CAlCPA Tax Listserv

September 4, 2008 message from Scott Bonacker [lister@bonackers.com]
Scott has been a long-time contributor to the AECM listserv (he's a techie as well as a practicing CPA)

I found another listserve that is exceptional -

CalCPA maintains http://groups.yahoo.com/taxtalk/  and they let almost anyone join it.
Jim Counts, CPA is moderator.

There are several highly capable people that make frequent answers to tax questions posted there, and the answers are often in depth.


Scott forwarded the following message from Jim Counts

Yes you may mention info on your listserve about TaxTalk. As part of what you say please say [... any CPA or attorney or a member of the Calif Society of CPAs may join. It is possible to join without having a free Yahoo account but then they will not have access to the files and other items posted.

Once signed in on their Yahoo account go to http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/TaxTalk/ and I believe in top right corner is Join Group. Click on it and answer the few questions and in the comment box say you are a CPA or attorney, whichever you are and I will get the request to join.

Be aware that we run on the average 30 or move emails per day. I encourage people to set up a folder for just the emails from this listserve and then via a rule or filter send them to that folder instead of having them be in your inbox. Thus you can read them when you want and it will not fill up the inbox when you are looking for client emails etc.

We currently have about 830 CPAs and attorneys nationwide but mainly in California.... ]

Please encourage your members to join our listserve.

If any questions let me know.

Hemet, CA
Moderator TaxTalk





Many useful accounting sites (scroll down) --- http://www.iasplus.com/links/links.htm


Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Some Accounting History Sites

Bob Jensen's Accounting History in a Nutshell and Links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#AccountingHistory

Accounting History Libraries at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) --- http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/accountancy/libraries.html
The above libraries include international accounting history.
The above libraries include film and video historical collections.

MAAW Knowledge Portal for Management and Accounting --- http://maaw.info/

Academy of Accounting Historians and the Accounting Historians Journal ---

Sage Accounting History --- http://ach.sagepub.com/cgi/pdf_extract/11/3/269

A nice timeline on the development of U.S. standards and the evolution of thinking about the income statement versus the balance sheet is provided at:
"The Evolution of U.S. GAAP: The Political Forces Behind Professional Standards (1930-1973)," by Stephen A. Zeff, CPA Journal, January 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/105/infocus/p18.htm
Part II covering years 1974-2003 published in February 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/205/index.htm 

A nice timeline of accounting history --- http://www.docstoc.com/docs/2187711/A-HISTORY-OF-ACCOUNTING

From Texas A&M University
Accounting History Outline --- http://acct.tamu.edu/giroux/history.html

Bob Jensen's timeline of derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting ---

History of Fraud in America --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/415wp/AmericanHistoryOfFraud.htm
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.htm

Bob Jensen's Threads ---

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

All my online pictures --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/PictureHistory/


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586
Phone:  603-823-8482 
Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu