Tidbits on July 30, 2013
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Featured This Week Are Photographs of New Hampshire's Covered Bridges
Plus a Special Covered Bridge in Frankenmuth, Michigan



Tidbits on July 30, 2013
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/

Facebook is perhaps the ultimate example of the old, wise saying: If you aren’t paying for a product, then you ARE the product
Comparisons of Antivirus Software ---

Based upon this analysis I chose F-Secure

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 ---

Find Real Estate for Sale ---

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories


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

Neil deGrasse Tyson Unveils a Dazzling Preview of the New Cosmos ---

Flying Over America --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=KcuDdPo0WZk

Old Time Radio --- http://archive.org/details/oldtimeradio

Moving Art:  Beautiful and Inspiring Video ---

Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Times on Film --- http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/troosevelt_film/

September 11 Television Archive --- http://archive.org/details/sept_11_tv_archive

Make History: National September 11 Memorial & Museum --- http://makehistory.national911memorial.org/ 

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

Andre Rieu's rendition of "My Way" --- http://www.youtube.com/embed/e-y581HdWfY?rel=0

A Humorous (very short) Horny Performance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra ---

Minnesota nurse-anesthetists (waking up is hard to do) --- http://nottotallyrad.blogspot.com/2009/11/waking-up-is-hard-to-do.html

A unique Experience at the Rijksmuseum museum in Holland --- http://www.youtube.com/embed/a6W2ZMpsxhg?feature=player_embedded

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

Pandora (my favorite online music station) --- www.pandora.com
(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's threads on nearly all types of free music selections online ---

Photographs and Art

82nd & Fifth --- http://82nd-and-fifth.metmuseum.org/
100 Works of Art That Changed the World

NASA:  Comet Lemmon and the Deep Sky ---

These Photos Of Detroit's Golden Age Show How Far The City Has Fallen ---

New Robert Rauschenberg Digital Collection Lets You Download Free High-Res Images of the Artist’s Work --- Click Here

Chicago History Museum: Flickr --- http://www.flickr.com/groups/chicagohistory/pool/with/7938537088/

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum (Chicago History) --- http://www.driehausmuseum.org/

Images from University of Illinois at Chicago Library Collections (photograph archive) ---

Julia Morgan: An Online Exhibition (architecture history) ---  http://lib.calpoly.edu/specialcollections/architecture/juliamorgan/

11 Of The Most Badass Hikes In The World ---
Read more: http://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/from-active-volcanoes-to-devils-paths-11-of-the-worlds-most-badass-hikes?utm_medium=syn&utm_source=businessinsidert&utm_term=web#ixzz2Zrd9qC6d

Victoria and Albert Museum Teachers' Resource: Architecture ---

Take A Tour Of China's New Donut-Shaped Hotel ---

Chicago, 1900-1914 --- http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/collections/maps/chi1900/

Post (art and literature) --- http://post.at.moma.org/

The Field Museum: Insects, Arachnids and Myriapods Collections ---

Living Rainbow: Rainbow Eucalyptus, Most Beautiful Tree Bark on Earth ---

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

Charlotte Mew had size-2 shoes and a thing for older women. Thomas Hardy called her “the best living woman poet.” Why have we forgotten her? ---

Folger Shakespeare Library Online Resources for Teachers --- http://www.folger.edu/template.cfm?cid=618

Gertrude Stein Sends a “Review” of The Great Gatsby to F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925) ---

The Writing Life of Joyce Carol Oates ---

Post (art and literature) --- http://post.at.moma.org/

24 Books People Mostly Pretend to Have Read --- http://www.openculture.com/2013/07/books-people-pretend-to-read-and-now-your-confessions.html

74 Free Banned Books People Pretend Not to Have Read---

Read Fanny Hill, the 18th-Century Erotic Novel That Went to the Supreme Court in the 20th Century ---

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 July 30, 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

Wolfram Alpha --- http://www.wolframalpha.com/ 

"23 Ways To Make Money Using The Nerdiest Site (Wolfram Alpha) On The Internet," by Walter Hickey, Business Insider, July 9, 2013 ---

Developed by the "Smartest Guy on the Planet"
"32 Tricks You Can Do With Wolfram Alpha, The Most Useful Site In The History Of The Internet," by Walter Hickey, Business Insider, July 9, 2013 ---

Bob Jensen's application of Wolfram Alpha to a learning curve controversy ---

Bob Jensen's threads on Wolfram Alpha ---

MOOC Massively Open Online Course --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOOCs

"Who Is Driving the Online Locomotive?" by Rob Jenkins, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 25, 2013 ---

Jensen Comment
No single factor is driving the explosion in MOOC and other distance education courses.

But I think the major driver is concern by the world's most prestigious universities to that education opportunity is too skewed toward students from higher income families leaving the students from low income families with virtually no higher education opportunity or highly inferior education opportunities.

The rails of the online "locomotive" commenced at the MIT University Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI) station.
MIT formed a consortium of some (not all) of the most prestigious universities in the USA and some outside the USA. Initially OKI was not a distance education initiative. Rather is was a educational materials sharing initiative. Prestigious universities, especially MIT, commenced to share the learning materials of their own courses, including readings, lecture notes, assignments, examinations, etc. Eventually this led to sharing of lecture videos.  Of course these were only free open-shared study materials. Users could not get transcript credit for mastering these study materials.
MIT Open Courseware --- http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/

The OKI Consortium of MIT, Yale, Stanford, etc. shook the academic world like an academic earthquake after Columbia University's Fathom Project folded its tent! Why would prestigious universities, especially private universities with very high tuition, commence sharing most of their intellectual property?  I think the main reason was to commence to overcome elitism where low income students from everywhere on earth to catch the learning train.

The second shock also commenced at the MIT Station. 
MIT and other prestigious universities commenced to attach entire MOOC courses behind the online locomotive! Users could now enroll in courses (often in search of attendance certificates) from the best specialist teachers in the Academy.

The third shock commenced with prestigious universities contracting with MOOC corporations to administer competency-based examinations and issue transcript credits.
"What You Need to Know About MOOC's," Chronicle of Higher Education, August 20, 2012 ---

. . .

Who are the major players?

Several start-up companies are working with universities and professors to offer MOOC's. Meanwhile, some colleges are starting their own efforts, and some individual professors are offering their courses to the world. Right now four names are the ones to know:


A nonprofit effort run jointly by MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley.

Leaders of the group say they intend to slowly add other university partners over time. edX plans to freely give away the software platform it is building to offer the free courses, so that anyone can use it to run MOOC’s.


A for-profit company founded by two computer-science professors from Stanford.

The company’s model is to sign contracts with colleges that agree to use the platform to offer free courses and to get a percentage of any revenue. More than a dozen high-profile institutions, including Princeton and the U. of Virginia, have joined.


Another for-profit company founded by a Stanford computer-science professor.

The company, which works with individual professors rather than institutions, has attracted a range of well-known scholars. Unlike other providers of MOOC’s, it has said it will focus all of its courses on computer science and related fields.


A for-profit platform that lets anyone set up a course.

The company encourages its instructors to charge a small fee, with the revenue split between instructor and company. Authors themselves, more than a few of them with no academic affiliation, teach many of the courses.

The fourth shock was when less prestigious state universities and community colleges to provide education opportunity for low income statements commenced to emulate MIT and other prestigious universities in providing both non-credit courses and courses for credit as MOOCs.

The fifth shock was when the University of Wisconsin, Southern New Hampshire University, and the University of Akron commenced to offer competency-based transcript credit without requiring students to take courses.
"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 --- "

Underlying all of are the thousands of free learning module videos of the Khan Academy where students can pick and choose topics that they want to learn ---
Khan Academy --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khan_Academy

How to sign up for a MOOC ---

Ruth Bender, Ph.D. is an accounting professor in the United Kingdom

June 17, 2013 message from Ruth Bender

I did the MOOC ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior’ from Dan Ariely at Duke (it uses Coursera).  I registered just to see what it was like, with no expectation of doing the work.  I ended up doing all of the video lectures, all of the required readings, many of the optional readings, some of the optional videos, all of the tests, the written assignment, peer-reviews of others’ assignments… I even spent time swotting for the final exam!  And when I got my certificate, even though it is covered in disclaimers (they can’t know that I really am the one who did the work) I felt a real sense of achievement.

On the other hand, I also started a Strategy course, and lasted only one lecture. 

And I have just started a Finance course, but am struggling with it as it’s a bit tedious.  (Not sure how much of that relates to the fact that I understand the time value of money, and how much of it is due to style, with a presenter speaking to camera for long periods.)

I wrote down, for Cranfield colleagues, some features of the Ariely course.  Here  they are.

1.    A lot of time had been spent getting this right.  They reckoned, about 3000 hours.  The videos are very professional.  The cartoon drawings that accompany them every so often are quite nice as a (relevant) distraction.

2.    As well as Dan Ariely, they had two teaching assistants on the course to answer queries.

3.    I didn’t use the discussion for a or the live hangouts.  I don’t know about the hangouts, but I did occasionally browse the discussion for a to see how they were being used.  They seemed quite active.  Likewise, I didn’t participate in the course Wiki but it did seem active.

4.    There was a survey done before at the start of the course and at the start of every single week.  The surveys covered attitudes, to the course and the subjects covered.  (This is a psychology course, after all.)

5.    A final exercise, voluntary that I am not joining, is to write a group essay on the course.

6.    The videos ranged from 5 minutes to over 20.  The readings ranged from 1-2 pages through to academic working papers of about 40 pages.

7.    There are two tests each week – on the videos, and on the readings.  You can re-sit the tests up to 15 times

8.    The closing exam was closed-book.  People were selling revision notes, and also providing them for free.  Some very complex mind maps here – this was unexpected and very interesting. 

9.    A lot of interaction with Dan, including the weekly Q&A video.

Overall, I think it was a success because the material was interesting, and because it was presented really well.  They kept my interest with short-ish videos, and with quizzes.  Ariely is an entertaining presenter.  In order to get a grade you had to peer-review at least 3 other people’s written assignments.  I ended up reading 11, just because I wanted to see the standard.  A couple were dire, but most were high.

Hope this helps.  Happy to give more information if you like.



Dr Ruth Bender
Cranfield School of Management


"Why We Fear MOOCs," by Mary Manjikian, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 14, 2013 ---

Jensen Comment
Traditionalists, especially faculty on campus, in higher education, many of them feeling threatened by the online locomotive, think of every possible negative that might derail the online locomotive. But I think it's too late.

The best thing we can do is be totally honest about the advantages and disadvantages of hitching a ride behind the online locomotive.

The underlying purpose of this online locomotive is too important to the entire world to derail.

Professors who responded to The Chronicle survey reported a variety of motivations for diving into MOOCs. The most frequently cited reason was altruism—a desire to increase access to higher education worldwide. But there were often professional motivations at play as well.
The Professors Who Make the MOOCs

What is it like to teach 10,000 or more students at once, and does it really work? The largest-ever survey of professors who have taught MOOCs, or massive open online courses, shows that the process is time-consuming, but, according to the instructors, often successful. Nearly half of the professors felt their online courses were as rigorous academically as the versions they taught in the classroom.

The survey, conducted by The Chronicle, attempted to reach every professor who has taught a MOOC. The online questionnaire was sent to 184 professors in late February, and 103 of them responded.

Hype around these new free online courses has grown louder and louder since a few professors at Stanford University drew hundreds of thousands of students to online computer-science courses in 2011. Since then MOOCs, which charge no tuition and are open to anybody with Internet access, have been touted by reformers as a way to transform higher education and expand college access. Many professors teaching MOOCs had a similarly positive outlook: Asked whether they believe MOOCs "are worth the hype," 79 percent said yes.

Princeton University's Robert Sedgewick is one of them. He had never taught online before he decided to co-lead a massive open online course titled "Algorithms: Part I."

Like many professors at top-ranked institutions, Mr. Sedgewick was very skeptical about online education. But he was intrigued by the notion of bringing his small Princeton course on algorithms, which he had taught for 40 years, to a global audience. So after Princeton signed a deal with an upstart company called Coursera to offer MOOCs, he volunteered for the front lines.

His online course drew 80,000 students when it opened last summer, but Sedgewick was not daunted. He had spent hundreds of hours readying the material, devoting as much as two weeks each to recording and fine-tuning videotaped lectures. The preparation itself, he said, was "a full-time job."

It paid off. By the time his six-week course was over, the Princeton professor had changed his mind about what online education could do. Mr. Sedgewick now classifies himself as "very enthusiastic" about virtual teaching, and believes that soon "every person's education will have a significant online component."

The Chronicle survey considered courses open to anyone, enrolling hundreds or even thousands of users (the median number of students per class was 33,000). About half of the professors who responded were still in the process of teaching their first MOOC, while the rest had led an open online course that had completed at least one full term.

Many of those surveyed felt that these free online courses should be integrated into the traditional system of credit and degrees. Two-thirds believe MOOCs will drive down the cost of earning a degree from their home institutions, and an overwhelming majority believe that the free online courses will make college less expensive in general.

The findings are not scientific, and perhaps the most enthusiastic of the MOOC professors were the likeliest complete the survey. These early adopters of MOOCs have overwhelmingly volunteered to try them—only 15 percent of respondents said they taught a MOOC at the behest of a superior—so the deck was somewhat stacked with true believers. A few professors whose MOOCs have gone publicly awry did not respond to the survey.

But the participants were primarily longtime professors with no prior experience with online instruction. More than two-thirds were tenured, and most had taught college for well over a decade. The respondents were overwhelmingly white and male. In other words, these were not fringe-dwelling technophiles with a stake in upending the status quo.

Therefore the positive response may come as a surprise to some observers. Every year the Babson Survey Research Group asks chief academic administrators to estimate what percentage of their faculty members "accept the value and legitimacy of online education"; the average estimate in recent years has stalled at 30 percent, even as online programs have become mainstream.

Professors at top-ranked colleges are seen as having especially entrenched views. For years, "elite" institutions appeared to view online courses as higher education's redheaded stepchild—good enough for for-profit institutions and state universities, maybe, but hardly equivalent to the classes held on their own campuses. Now these high-profile professors, who make up most of the survey participants, are signaling a change of heart that could indicate a bigger shake-up in the higher-education landscape. Why They MOOC

Professors who responded to The Chronicle survey reported a variety of motivations for diving into MOOCs. The most frequently cited reason was altruism—a desire to increase access to higher education worldwide. But there were often professional motivations at play as well.

John Owens was drawn to MOOCs because of their reach. He also did not want to be left behind.

Mr. Owens, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California at Davis, liked the idea of teaching parallel computing, a method that allows computers to execute many tasks at once, to a global audience. Putting his course on Udacity's platform would be good for the 15,000 students who registered at no cost, he figured.

But it might also be good for him. It does not take a programming expert to decrypt the writing on the wall: No matter where you teach, online education is coming. "I would rather understand this at the front end," said Mr. Owens, "than be forced into it on the back end."

A number of the professors in the survey said they hoped to use MOOCs to increase their visibility, both among colleagues within their discipline (39 percent) and with the media and the general public (34 percent).

This opportunity was not lost on Mr. Sedgewick, the Princeton professor. "Every single faculty member has the opportunity to extend their reach by one or two or three orders of magnitude," he said.

For heavyweights like Mr. Sedgewick, who co-wrote a popular textbook on algorithms, allowing somebody else to beat him to the punch on that opportunity would be risky. By volunteering for duty, he was, in part, defending his roost. "I wouldn't want anybody else's algorithms course to be out there," said Mr. Sedgewick. He was one of the few professors in the survey who recommended that students buy a textbook—his own.

Nevertheless, most professors did not seem to think that a MOOC-related boost to their professional profile would equate to a payday. Just 6 percent were looking to increase their earning power, and only one hoped that his MOOC work would help him get tenure. Learning From Online

In May 2012, when the presidents of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced that they would enter the MOOC fray with $60-million to start edX, they were emphatic that their agenda was to improve, not supplant, classroom education.

"Online education is not an enemy of residential education," said Susan Hockfield, president of MIT at the time, from a dais at a hotel in Cambridge, "but an inspiring and liberating ally."

This has become a refrain for traditional universities that have been early adopters of MOOCs, and many of the professors in The Chronicle survey seem to have taken the message to heart. Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed said one motivation was to pick up tips to help improve their classroom teaching.

Continued in article


Jensen Comment
Whatever the reasons, altruism versus evil intentions, the fact of the matter is that the MOOC locomotive becoming too important to low income people around the world who have very few alternatives to learn other than from open-sharing of course materials (MIT's OKI), the unbelievable Khan Academy, and the MOOCs who give them access, albeit very limited access, to the best teaching professors in our Academy.

If we think of providing the poor around the world with buffets, knowledge has a unique advantage. Each morsel eaten by each person in a food buffet has a marginal cost. Each vaccination in a vaccination buffet has a marginal cost. Each vial of medicine in a a pharmacy buffet has a marginal cost. Each teacher in a remote village school has a marginal cost. Each hard copy book in a school library has a marginal cost. But knowledge per se can be delivered at almost no marginal cost to students who have access to the Internet. A module in Wikipedia can be consumed by each person in a Wikipedia buffet at almost no marginal cost beyond the cost of access to the Internet. There's zero incremental cost whether one student reads the module on the "Phillips Curve" or 10 million people read this "Phillips Curve" module in Wikipedia.

MOOC buffets are a bit more complicated than Wikipedia but far less costly than bringing a food buffet to poor people around the world. There's virtually no marginal cost to adding a million learners to the 10,000 learners who are already signed up for a MOOC course. But there is a serious marginal cost to provide transcript credit for mastering a MOOC course. But the cost is not in the learning. The cost is in providing opportunity (e.g., jobs or graduate school) based upon assessment of that learning for each and every MOOC student who wants transcript credit. This is the main stumbling block of MOOC efficiency, but it is a stumbling block that the world will one day overcome with innovations.

MOOCs will be failures by traditional measures of success.
There will be very high dropout rates. There will be very high failure rates if MOOCs maintain academic standards (which is the major reason we want prestigious universities to put their reputations on the line). There will be many hopeful students who just are not prepared to tackle the material in courses they sign up for with naive optimism. There will be many hopefuls, particularly parents will small children they must tend, who just cannot find the time to study.

But MOOCs must survive if low income students from every part of the world are to have any hope at all for learning, especially those who are only being held back by their poverty.

I truly believe that MOOCs are a lot like Wikipedia. Traditionalists in our faculty find every reason under the sun why Wikipedia and MOOCs will never be sustained. But free services are currently growing and getting better in spite of all the negativism.

MOOCs will fail if MIT, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, Rice, Oxford, Cambridge, and the other top universities throw in the towel like Columbia University threw in the towel on Fathom. But I think Hell will freeze over before these these other universities give up on MOOCs or invent another way of reaching learning-starved poor people around the world.

MOOCs will fail if they become a sham much like so many for-profit universities have become diploma mills.  But MIT, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, Rice, Oxford, Cambridge, and the other top universities will not become MOOC diploma mills. I think Hell will freeze over before these universities give up on MOOCs or invent another way of reaching learning-starved poor people around the world.

Bob Jensen

Harmful Hacks to Legitimate Websites
I live in fear that one day a deceptive and/or malicious module/tidbit will be placed in my huge Website by a hacker. The worst such module would be one that is totally consistent with my writing style (usually without pictures) that makes a false claim that I recommend a product or service. Until a reader gets harmed and notifies me I may never be aware of this hack.

Such hacking happens to the best of the Website providers, including MIT's Technology Review
"Fake Ad For Apparent Credit-Card Scam Was On Our Site," MIT's Technology Review, July 2013 --- Click Here

Tesla Motors --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Motors

"Tesla Versus the Luxury Automakers: Does the introduction of luxury EVs from BMW, Cadillac, and Mercedes spell doom for Tesla?" by Kevin Bullis, MIT's Technology Review, July 25, 2013 --- Click Here

Jensen Comment
There won't be much competition from Japan since Japanese manufacturers have given up on battery-powered cars. The Japanese shifted their attention to the future of fuel cells, probably hydrogen fuel cells.

But competition from luxury car manufacturers in Michigan and Germany will be intense. Much depends upon the competitive advantage of Tesla's new patents.

What seems to me as a stupid business model is to not have Tesla dealers (or at least repair shops) across the entire geographic market where you sell vehicles. If I by a Tesla in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where do I take it in for repairs and warranty service? Forget Tesla.

What seems to me as a stupid business model is to manufacture automobiles for a mass market in the Freemont, California where Toyota and General Moters fled. Tesla built its California factory using $365 million in low-interest loans from the federal government. Firstly, housing costs are higher that most manufacturing workers can afford. Secondly, Californians of fleeing their state in droves due to high taxes on virtually everything. It should be noted that choosing the Freemont abandoned plants helped Tesla land the $365 million. But that was before Tesla seriously was a contender for the mass automobile market across North America, Europe, and Asia.

When Tesla was building experimental cars for a niche market, Freemont made some sense because of talented tech workers in Silicon Valley. Tesla is now aiming for a mass market. How about new manufacturing plants in downtown Detroit and Beijing?

Tesla will probably have to partner with automobile companies having dealerships across North America, Europe, and Asia. To date, Tesla has made a big deal about selling cars with having dealerships. This policy is unsustainable unless Tesla builds cars that never need service and repairs.

Alan Turing --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing

Alan Turing, Brilliant Mathematician and Code Breaker, Will Be Finally Pardoned by British Government ---

15 Gadgets That Will Make You Feel Old  ---

Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets that will make you feel even older ---

"Do Scientists Pray? Einstein Answers a Little Girl's Question about Science vs. Religion," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, July 11, 2013 ---

"Isaac Asimov's Fan Mail to Young Carl Sagan," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, July 22, 2013 ---

"The Future Is Now: 15 Innovations to Watch For," by Steven Mintz, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 22, 2013 ---

This is a different Steven Mintz than the accounting professor Steven Mintz that maintains the Ethics Sage Blog ---

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

The Worst Companies to Work For (allegedly) ---

Jensen Comment
There are hundreds of thousands of small companies that are probably worse employers to a point where employees are praying to work for Wal-Mart where low wages are higher and there are benefits such as health care and free online degrees. Many small businesses are dropping benefits or opportunities to earn benefits like health care. They never had education benefits. Job security is becoming nill in strip malls that are now half empty.

Somewhat telling is the comment that “Radioshack constantly changes their focus because they are a struggling company.” Companies struggling to survive are not likely to be good places to work --- for a number of reasons. One of these reasons that those co-workers and supervisors who have not already abandoned ship are like to be the bottom of the barrel of remaining employees who have fewer choices to relocate. Such a working environment is probably not pleasant.

Struggling companies operating at or near a loss each year are resource challenged to make life pleasant for employees. Remaining employees may be asked to take pay cuts and/or be forced to work fewer hours each week. Travel budgets may make it possible to only stay in roach motels.

The only hope when working for a struggling company is that possible light at the end of the tunnel. For many struggling companies like the USA Postal Service there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Our Franconia Post Office has been reduced to 1.5 employees sorting mail and manning the long-lined counter 5.5 days per week. Return to the good days when there were 3.5 employees probably will never happen. What used to be one of the most secure careers in the USA is now one of the worst careers in the USA.

"14 Things High Schoolers Should Know Before They Go To College," by Vivian Giang, Business Insider, July 16, 2013 ---

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

Baidu Is a Better Version of Google (maybe) --- Click Here

Cool Search Engines That Are Not Google --- http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/06/coolsearchengines

Bob Jensen's threads on search engines ---

"Abrupt For-Profit Closures Surprise Regulators," by Kelly Field, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 29, 2013 ---

Tracy DeLorey was only three months away from graduation in January when she learned, via Facebook, that her college, American Career Institute, had closed. The news, she said, "was a kick in the face."

"I wasted a year and a half," said Ms. DeLorey, a single mother of three who works at the commissary at Hanscom Air Force Base, in Massachusetts. More than 2,200 students and 200 employees in Massachusetts and Maryland were displaced by ACI's closure.

Seven months later, many former students are still awaiting refunds on loans they took out to pay for their programs. Others have transferred to nearby colleges but find themselves spending more, or taking longer to complete their programs.

The abrupt closure of ACI, a for-profit institution that offered certificate programs in medical and dental fields, information technology, and digital media, came just over a week after Academic Enterprises Inc., the parent company of Sawyer Schools and Butler Business School, announced that it was shutting down campuses in Connecticut and Rhode Island that served more than 650 students.

In both cases, regulators and accreditors were as surprised as the students. They said they hadn't received any complaints from students about the colleges, and saw no red flags in their annual audits.

"This just dropped on us like a bomb," said Michael F. Trainor, special assistant to the commissioner for Rhode Island's Office of Higher Education, who learned of the Sawyer and Butler closings when a television reporter called him at home.

Maryland regulators said that ACI, which blamed its closure on a loss of credit, had just upgraded the equipment on one of its Maryland campuses and was operating at a profit.

The closures have gotten the attention of that state's senators, who wrote to the U.S. Department of Education to ask why oversight agencies missed the problems that led to the colleges' closures and how the "triad" of state and federal regulators and accrediting agencies could be improved to prevent future closures.

"One would expect that information indicating imminent closure would be easily identifiable, and we believe that situations like ACI's are absolutely preventable," wrote Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin, both Democrats.

In a response, James W. Runcie, chief operating officer of the department's Office of Federal Student Aid, argued that the triad "routinely" uncovers problems, but said the department would work to "improve the results of the triad's monitoring and oversight activities."

So why didn't anyone see these closures coming? In large part, it has to do with what the oversight bodies are looking at, and when. A Lagging Indicator

State regulators and accreditors monitor colleges' financial stability largely through annual financial audits. If a college shows signs of financial distress, its regulator or accreditor may require it to post a larger bond, file more frequent financial statements, or provide an improvement plan. If the situation looks dire, an accreditor may place the institution on "show cause" status, compelling it to submit a plan for students to continue their education at other institutions.

The U.S. Education Department uses audits to assign colleges "financial responsibility scores." Colleges that score poorly are subject to tighter monitoring for their federal student-aid funds and can be required to post costly letters of credit to remain eligible for financial-aid programs. Colleges that consistently fail the test can lose the right to issue federal aid to their students, though that rarely happens.

Yet colleges typically have several months after the close of their fiscal year to submit their audits, and some colleges conduct their audits before the end of the year. By the time regulators and accreditors receive an audit, it is often several months out of date. The Education Department just released the fiscal-responsibility scores for 2011, more than two years after the end of that fiscal year.

Both ACI and the Academic Enterprises schools received clean audits and passing financial-responsibility scores in their most recent reviews.

In the case of the Butler and Sawyer schools, enrollment abruptly fell by more than 50 percent, according to the states' regulators and senators. While the company's owners haven't explained their reasons for closing (and didn't respond to a request for comment), regulators say the college relied heavily on students without high-school diplomas or GEDs. Until recently, such students could qualify for federal aid by passing a test demonstrating their "ability to benefit" from higher education. Congress withdrew their eligibility as of July 1, 2012.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on for-profit "schools" operating in the gray zone of fraud ---

New Accounting History Books Worth Noting

Steve Zeff at Rice University is one of the best-known accounting historians alive today. He's also the current Book Review Editor of The Accounting Review. This explains, in part, why the July 2013 listing of book reviews four scholarly reference books on accounting history. I say reference books, because none of the four history books is light reading to pass the time on airplanes.

The books reviewed in the July 2013 issue of TAR include the following ---

  • SEBASTIAN BOTZEM, The Politics of Accounting Regulation: Organizing Transnational Standard Setting in Financial Reporting (Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012, ISBN 978-1-84980-177-5, pp. x, 223).
    Reviewer Scholar:  STUART McLEAY
  • WOLFGANG BURR and ALFRED WAGENHOFER (coordinating editors), Der Verband der Hoschschullehrer für Betriebswirtschaft: Geschichte des VHB und Geschichten zum VHB (History of the VHB and Tales of the VHB) (Wiesbaden, Germany: Gabler Verlag, 2012, ISBN 978-3-8349-2939-6, pp. xxi, 338).
    Reviewer Scholar:  LISA EVANS
  • MAHMOUD EZZAMEL, Accounting and Order (New York, NY: Routledge, 2012, ISBN 978-0-415-48261-5, pp. xx, 482).
    Reviewer Scholar:  SUDIPTA BASU
  • GARY PREVITS, PETER WALTON, and PETER WOLNIZER (editors), A Global History of Accounting, Financial Reporting and Public Policy: Eurasia, the Middle East and Africa (Bingley, U.K.: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012, ISBN 978-0-85724-815-2, pp. xi, 249).
    Reviewer Scholar:  TIMOTHY S. DOUPNIK
  • Capsule Commentary on The Future of IFRS (London, U.K.: Financial Reporting Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, 2012, ISBN 978-0-85760-652-5, pp. 25). Downloadable at www.icaew.com.
    Reviewer Commentator:  STEPHEN A. ZEFF
  • The accounting history classic in the set is A Global History of Accounting, Financial Reporting and Public Policy in four volumes, the fourth volume of which is reviewed in the above listing. The entire set is devoted to global development of accounting, financial reporting, and public policy in several key sovereign states. I don't think any scholarly library on accounting history would be complete without the entire set, although accounting professors may not invest in this set unless they are doing research in accounting history. This is not light reading. The reviewer, Tim Doupnik notes, that is not a book aimed at teh textbook market. Rather is "intended to be a historical source book."

    The Accounting for Order (in ancient Egypt) book by Mahmoud Ezzamel provides more than you probably ever wanted to know about "Egyptian inscriptions to document the role that accounting played in numerous spheres and theorizing about how accounting helps to create and sustain order within these spheres." It is a book that should be in every accounting history library, although professors who buy the book are probably historians interested in ancient Egypt society, culture, and economics. Sadipta Basu nearly always does scholarly work, and his review of this book is well worth the read.

    Most of us cannot read the Wolfgang Burr and Alfred Wagenhofer book since it is written in German.  Lisa Evans is obviously a scholar in accounting as well as the German language and writes the following in her review:

    This book is written in German and, it seems, for an audience primarily comprising VHB members, or at least those familiar with the discipline of Betriebswirtschaft (BWL) and with the organization of German academe. Therefore, an explicit account of what distinguishes BWL from related disciplines in other cultures may not have been felt necessary. However, one of the difficulties in reviewing this book for an English-speaking readership is the need to translate German concepts for which there are no English language equivalents. The very terms Betriebswirtschaft and Betriebswirtschaftslehre (the science of Betriebswirtschaft) can be translated as, inter alia, business administration, business management, business economics, or business studies.

    The lack of an equivalent translation is an indication of the different histories of related disciplines in different academic and business traditions. The different possible translations are also a clue to the breadth of the subject matter and to difficulties in its demarcation from related disciplines during its history. This relationship with other disciplines is explored throughout this book.

    In essence, the VHB represents interests considerably wider than accounting and finance, and many of the famous names (Schmalenbach, Schmidt, Mahlberg, etc.) associated with the history of BWL were not, or not only, professors of accounting in a narrow sense. The VHB's membership represents 16 subject areas or sub-disciplines: banking and finance; business taxation; academic management; international management; logistics; marketing; sustainability management; public business administration; operations research; organization; human resources management; production management; accounting; technology, innovation and entrepreneurship; business information systems; and economic science (VHB website; see also Chapter 1). The subject group for accounting was formally constituted in 1977 and includes financial reporting, managerial accounting, controlling, and auditing (VHB website).

    Continued in the book review

    The author of The Politics of Accounting Regulation: Organizing Transnational Standard Setting in Financial Reporting, Sebastian Botzem, is a political scientist who focuses his particular research skills to the study of the politics of the International Accounting Standards Board. The reviewer, stuart Mcleay, writes as follows:

    . . .

    n its attempt to understand the contested and political nature of accounting standard setting, this interdisciplinary book focuses on the structures and the procedures that enable transnational rule-setting. The author starts with an outline of the social theory that may explain transnational accounting standardization, noting that the shared beliefs of professions have long been able to facilitate the social closure that is important to self-regulation, but that professional bodies no longer form the main loci of expertise in accounting standard setting. This is followed by a condensed account of the IASB's emergence as the pre-eminent international accounting standard setter. Botzem claims that, in getting to this position, the IASB has out-competed a number of other endeavors to draw up international accounting rules. This is a questionable interpretation, as the two supposed competitors to the IASB (the European Community and the United Nations) have not been greatly concerned with financial reporting standards per se, but, respectively, with the harmonization of company law across the member states of the European Union and the wider accountability of multinational companies. Rather than rival initiatives, these are components of a complex nexus of overlapping demands by social actors aimed at constraining the behavior of firms.

    The book also attempts to set the scene by drawing links between global capitalism and the content of international accounting standards, emphasizing the capital-market orientation embodied in fair value accounting. This too is overly simplistic, in my view—we do not have to look far for a counter-example in the potential usefulness of pension accounting of employee superannuation funds.

    The book continues with a reconstruction of the organizational development of the IASB, arguing that, while the privately run standard setter has established the necessary procedures to consult with interested parties, it has done so without handing over too much influence. In this respect, the author claims that the IASB has subordinated democratic accountability to the effectiveness of expertise-based standardization. This is a well-worn debate among accounting researchers, practitioners, and standard setters, not only the IASB. It is particularly instructive that the revised conceptual framework issued jointly by the IASB and FASB now limits the range of addressees of general purpose financial reporting to investors, lenders and other creditors, explicitly to assist them in making decisions about providing resources to the entity. Needless to say, political scientists should be aware that various social actors have sought to foist their own public policy objectives onto the regulation of financial statements, in an attempt to extend the remit of standard setting beyond that of financial reporting. Our understanding of the IASB requires in turn a greater appreciation of international consensus over the public policy objectives financial statements.

    Finally, the book reports on the author's own empirical research on organizational structures and processes, by providing an analysis of the dominant individuals and the most influential organizations within the IASB's wider network.

    Throughout the book, the IASB is portrayed as “a successful, private, transnational, regulatory body,” whose efforts to be outside of politics are nevertheless fundamentally political in nature. While the IASB is often referred to as a “regulator” in this way (both in this book and elsewhere), the broader perspective is that law-makers, together with the financial regulators and delegated agencies that produce “soft law,” contribute jointly to the complex framework of requirements that are placed on the regulated. At the same time, the multinational operations of regulated firms readily introduce legal and regulatory extraterritorialities that muddle institutional boundaries. While Botzem grapples with some of these complexities, and introduces the reader to useful universal notions such as “boundary spanning” when generalizing the diffusion of transnational standards over different social domains, a fuller understanding of the particularities of the IASB as a regulatory body requires a more developed appreciation of the way in which the various institutions of corporate regulation interact in influencing financial reporting. For instance, not only is the black letter of corporate law transposed readily from one jurisdiction to another, so too are the formal and informal rules and processes of accounting (as they have been since the Middle Ages). The level of statist interaction, or emulation, was already high before the advent of the IASB. I suspect that cultural specificity in accounting is marginal, and that other factors, such as differences in industrial structure, may explain not only international accounting practice differentiation (Jaafar and McLeay 2007) but also the within-country alliances that influence statist regulatory differentiation.

    In the latter part of the book, the analysis of the Board membership is based to a great extent on the CVs of the individuals involved. In contrast, the analysis of the other IASB bodies that are investigated (the Standards Advisory Council, SAC; the International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee, IFRIC; and the trustees) depends greatly on the assumption that each member of these bodies is a “representative” of their employer. While the modeling is detailed, it builds on shaky ground in this respect. For example, a small number of universities are listed as employing organizations (Genoa, Northwestern, São Paulo, Tama, Unitec NZ, Waseda, and Wellington). It is difficult to believe that these organizations are “represented” in any way on IASB committees, and there is no obvious reason to expect that the individuals involved necessarily act as representatives of the wider academic community. Likewise, it is not necessarily the case that an employee of the General Electric Company is a “representative” of GE, who is just as likely to have been voted in by dint of other alliances or even on the basis of individual competences. Although it may be reasonable to infer that an employee of the Korean Accounting Standards Board is a “representative” of the KASB, or even of standard setters in general, it is still plausible that individual factors are as important as institutional representation in motivating involvement with the IASB, including membership of other networks. We require a deeper understanding of these interacting alliances formed by individual members. Moreover, the analysis would benefit from including the membership of the IASB's Monitoring Board, which consists of capital market regulators.

    Other aspects of the analysis in this book are similarly underdeveloped. Speaking of one current Board member, who has worked in India, Europe, and the United States, it is noted that “[h]e is a member of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and the American Institute of CPAs and therefore can be considered to be the ninth ‘Anglo-American' representative on the Board” (pp. 132–133). It does seem, here, as though an awkward fact is not allowed to get in the way of a good story. Unfortunately, the research places too much weight on the cliché of “Anglo-American domination.” It would be equally valid to interpret previous employment and early training with large audit firms as direct experience of international accounting, in transnational firms that command a global market in accounting and audit services. For instance, at the time of writing, just one of these firms has offices in 771 cities across 158 countries, with its employees distributed throughout Europe (34%), North America (25%), Asia (21%) and elsewhere (20%)—see PwC's Global Annual Review 2012.

    The author stretches the same point in other ways: “in their daily work the Board members draw on a foundation of experience rooted in an Anglo-American philosophy marked by an appreciation for private sector self-regulation and skepticism toward state intervention” (p. 133). Yet the 18 extracts from author interviews with IASB members (Tweedie is quoted nine times and Whittington four times) and others (Cairns is quoted twice, Mackintosh twice, and Mau once) provide little evidence of such attitudes, and the hypothesis therefore remains untested. Indeed, given that one of the main conclusions is that the IASB mode of expert-based self-regulation is under-representative of the users of accounting information, one might conclude that this is a very limited set of interviewees.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    I might add that accounting history is monumentally neglected in our North American accountancy doctoral programs and in our academic accountancy departments and in our top accounting research journals. Academic researchers prefer to take the easy way out by beating purchased database pinatas with sticks until findings, mostly uninteresting findings, fall into research journals that are largely ignored by the profession and accounting teachers ---

    The Sebastian Botzem book should probably be required reading in a course (probably an economics course) on the history and politics of regulation. Such a course would not be common in accounting departments. Great credit should be given to the great success that the IASB has had to date in bringing over 100 nations into the subset of nations that require IFRS totally or almost totally as the main set of financial reporting standards for auditors and investors. Although I'm doubtful that IFRS should replace current U.S. GAAP in the USA, my hat is off to the great success of relentless efforts by dedicated global accountants to succeed in the politics of IFRS. The USA is a special case, and nobody ever thought it would be easy to bring convergence of USA and IASB accounting standards.

    The USA is a special case because of its long history of raising business funding from equity markets that are almost non-existent in most of the 100+ nations who raise a greater share of capital from central banks and government taxation.

    The USA is a special case because of boots-on-the ground wars it has participated in since World War II. It's not possible to enter into so many fighting wars without polarizing the rest of the world into nations that respect the USA's effort to bring world peace versus those that despise the USA's political alignments and economic dominance, particularly alignments with Israel that inflame other parts of the world.

    The USA will carry a lot of political baggage to the IASB if the IASB standards are to be deployed in the USA. Our enemies rise up against us with both terror and with every political tool at their disposal, including the politics of the UN that will probably be carried over into the future politics of the IASB. This of course is Bob Jensen speaking and not repeating the more optimistic views of Sebastian Botzem. However, it's probably inevitable that the USA will join the IASB fold one day down the road.

    Steve Zeff in this edition of TAR has a capsule commentary with a scholarly forecast of The Future of IFRS that is much more optimistic
    Capsule Commentary on The Future of IFRS (London, U.K.: Financial Reporting Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, 2012, ISBN 978-0-85760-652-5, pp. 25). Downloadable at www.icaew.com.
    Reviewer Commentator:  STEPHEN A. ZEFF

    Bob Jensen's threads on accounting history are at

    Bob Jensen's threads on controversies of accounting standard setting are at

    Have we overblown the importance of social media to business?

    Only 36% of the surveyed professionals view social business as important. It’s double the percentage from 2011, but it’s still much too low.
    Based on MIT Sloan Management Review, in collaboration with Deloitte, survey of 2,545 business professionals in 99 countries on the subject of social business ---

    Jensen Comment
    The term "important" might not have been consistently interpreted by respondents, especially respondents from different industries.

    The term "important" might mean a small but necessary factor in performance. For example, having Internet access is a necessary condition to downloading a new eBook, but it is only a small part of understanding that book.

    The term "important" might mean an unnecessary condition that in some circumstances might be a convenience or improve performance. For example, having a cell phone is not a necessary condition for most of us, but it can certainly be a convenience and probably improves efficiency when trying to make personal contacts with customers such as when a Sears service driver needs instructions on how to find my home in the boondocks. Also having an annual car towing service (such has carrying an AAA Tow Service Card with an 800 phone number) is not a necessary condition to getting a tow when needed. But along with a cell phone it is a convenience relative to having to search for towing services when you have two flat tires away from home in downtown Detroit.

    Also subscribing to LinkedIn is not a necessary condition to finding a new job, but for many subscribers to this social media service it has been a God send.

    Companies are just beginning to suspect that releasing financial information to the social media may lower the cost of capital.

    The term "important" by be connected with the lower end of a learning curve where the respondent views social media as not being so important at this point in time but having potential of becoming vital to performance in future years. In our Academy publishing articles in refereed journals is currently the most popular way of communicating research discoveries. But each year the the advantages of communicating research discoveries in the social media are becoming increasingly evident. These advantages include timeliness (journal publishing will one day be viewed as horse and buggy) and size of the "audience" such as having audiences of thousands or millions of people, some of which will more critically review the research far better than two burdened journal referees, and the spirit of open-source in general. Knowledge wants to be set free!

    Also the respondents in this MIT Sloan Management Review survey probably are unaware of the degree to which social media has been a blessing and a curse at all times and in all circumstances of their companies. The CEO of General Electric really does not know all the instances the R&D staff discovered innovative ideas because of  their social media subscriptions. The CEO of General Electric really does not know of all instances where employees are wasting time in personal conversations in the social media during working hours.


    "The Sociology of Academic Networks," by Lincoln Mullen, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 13, 2011 ---

    I’m a historian who is spending a month in the company of sociologists, studying religious congregations and social change. In crossing these disciplinary boundaries, I’ve been fortunate to read a great deal of sociological works that I would otherwise not encounter. Among these is Randall Collins’s theoretical work, Interaction Ritual Chains (2004).

    Collins’s describes his work as a “radical microsociology,” meaning that he theorizes about the rituals by which people interact with others, from large groups, to person-to-person relationships, to the imaginary conversations that a person engages in his or her mind. I’m ambivalent about parts of the theory, but I’m intrigued by his central claims: “occasions that combine a high degree of mutual focus of attention … together with a high degree of emotional entrainment … result in feelings of membership that are attached to cognitive symbols; and result also in the emotional energy of individual participants, giving them feelings of confidence, enthusiasm, and desire for action in what they consider a morally proper path” (42). In other words, when people interact their shared attention trains each other to be in a group with a shared purpose.

    Though that theory is dense, I find it powerful for explaining many things, not least of which is the way parts of the academy work. If part of the mission of ProfHacker is to make plain the hidden (even unconscious) rules of the academy, then Collins’s explanations of the sociology of academic networks and of academic writing can be helpful.

    I’ll take up Collins’s ideas of academic writing in a later post, but first let’s look at his ideas about academic networks.

    Collins says that thinking is a social process. (Hint: sociologists think that everything is social.) He observes that important thinkers tend to be the students of important thinkers and to have important thinkers as students themselves. He also notes that the best scholars have personal contacts with the other best thinkers, whether allies or enemies. These groups are “not merely the clubbing together of the already famous, but groups of would-be thinkers who have not yet done the work that will make them famous.” This is not to say that only “important” scholars move on the work of scholarship, but that the social structure focuses on such eminent individuals, who “work extremely long hours, seemingly obsessed with their work.” Perhaps most important, Collins insists on the importance of direct interaction between scholars, especially face-to-face interaction. He writes, “What one picks up from an eminent teacher … is a demonstration of how to operate in the intellectual field of oppositions. Star intellectuals are role models … but in a fashion that cannot be picked up at a distance, and only by seeing them in action.”

    Collins’s sociology goes a long way towards explaining the unpleasant side of the academy, such as the emphasis on academic celebrities and the plight of scholars who are never embedded in the academic social network. But it also offers ways of thinking about the academy that can help you hack your own career:

    Jensen Comment
    The AECM listserve is my main Academic network.
    My threads on listservs, social networks, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook (See the Table of Contents above)

    Academic networks do not replace refereed journals for communication of research. Rather they enhance refereed journals in many ways, especially in expanding those journals like The Accounting Review that for all practical purposes do not publish replications or even commentaries on research articles they publish.

    Academic networks are also important sources of research ideas where a networked message can inspire professors and even students to undertake research projects as well has deepen their scholarship.

    "The Sociology of Academic Networks," by Lincoln Mullen, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 13, 2011 ---

    I’m a historian who is spending a month in the company of sociologists, studying religious congregations and social change. In crossing these disciplinary boundaries, I’ve been fortunate to read a great deal of sociological works that I would otherwise not encounter. Among these is Randall Collins’s theoretical work, Interaction Ritual Chains (2004).

    Collins’s describes his work as a “radical microsociology,” meaning that he theorizes about the rituals by which people interact with others, from large groups, to person-to-person relationships, to the imaginary conversations that a person engages in his or her mind. I’m ambivalent about parts of the theory, but I’m intrigued by his central claims: “occasions that combine a high degree of mutual focus of attention … together with a high degree of emotional entrainment … result in feelings of membership that are attached to cognitive symbols; and result also in the emotional energy of individual participants, giving them feelings of confidence, enthusiasm, and desire for action in what they consider a morally proper path” (42). In other words, when people interact their shared attention trains each other to be in a group with a shared purpose.

    Though that theory is dense, I find it powerful for explaining many things, not least of which is the way parts of the academy work. If part of the mission of ProfHacker is to make plain the hidden (even unconscious) rules of the academy, then Collins’s explanations of the sociology of academic networks and of academic writing can be helpful.

    I’ll take up Collins’s ideas of academic writing in a later post, but first let’s look at his ideas about academic networks.

    Collins says that thinking is a social process. (Hint: sociologists think that everything is social.) He observes that important thinkers tend to be the students of important thinkers and to have important thinkers as students themselves. He also notes that the best scholars have personal contacts with the other best thinkers, whether allies or enemies. These groups are “not merely the clubbing together of the already famous, but groups of would-be thinkers who have not yet done the work that will make them famous.” This is not to say that only “important” scholars move on the work of scholarship, but that the social structure focuses on such eminent individuals, who “work extremely long hours, seemingly obsessed with their work.” Perhaps most important, Collins insists on the importance of direct interaction between scholars, especially face-to-face interaction. He writes, “What one picks up from an eminent teacher … is a demonstration of how to operate in the intellectual field of oppositions. Star intellectuals are role models … but in a fashion that cannot be picked up at a distance, and only by seeing them in action.”

    Collins’s sociology goes a long way towards explaining the unpleasant side of the academy, such as the emphasis on academic celebrities and the plight of scholars who are never embedded in the academic social network. But it also offers ways of thinking about the academy that can help you hack your own career:

    Jensen Comment
    The AECM listserve is my main Academic network.
    My threads on listservs, social networks, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook (See the Table of Contents above)

    Academic networks do not replace refereed journals for communication of research. Rather they enhance refereed journals in many ways, especially in expanding those journals like The Accounting Review that for all practical purposes do not publish replications or even commentaries on research articles they publish.

    Academic networks are also important sources of research ideas where a networked message can inspire professors and even students to undertake research projects as well has deepen their scholarship.

    Bob Jensen's threads on the social media ---

    "The Paradox of Wearable Technologies: Can wearable devices augment our activities without distracting us from the real world?" by Don Norman, MIT's Technology Review, July 24, 2013 --- Click Here

    "Wearable Devices' Next Design Challenge: The Human Brain," by Sarah Rotman Epps, ReadWriteWeb, February 4, 2013 ---

    Wearable devices like the Nike+ FuelBand, Jawbone UP, larklife, and future products like the Misfit Shine and Google Glass have been the subject of much discussion, for good reason: They give us access to information about our physical bodies and the physical environment we inhabit, a phenomenon we call Smart Body, Smart World. (Other people have referred to it as "the quantified self.")

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on ubiquitous computing ---

    "Scholarly Group Seeks Up to 6-Year Embargoes on Digital Dissertations," by Stacey Patton, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 24, 2013 ---

    The American Historical Association has published a new policy statement that "strongly encourages" graduate programs and university libraries to allow new Ph.D.'s to extend embargoes on their dissertations in digital form for as many as six years.

    The association says its stance seeks to balance the competing ideals of the profession: timely dissemination of new historical knowledge and the ability of young historians to choose when to release their research without jeopardizing a future publishing contract or tenure.

    The statement, which was released last week, says that because many university libraries no longer store hard copies of dissertations, more and more institutions are requiring graduate students to file their theses and dissertations electronically. The institutions then often post those documents online so that they are free and accessible to anyone who wants to read them.

    History-association officials say they drafted the statement in response to complaints by new Ph.D.'s and assertions by university-press editors who say they are reluctant to offer publishing contracts to young scholars whose dissertations are already widely available online.

    Graduate students who've successfully defended their dissertations are commonly allowed to embargo them from one to three years. Once that initial term is up, scholars can request to extend the embargo for a limited amount of time.

    "History has been and remains a book-based discipline," the statement says, "and the requirement that dissertations be published online poses a tangible threat to the interests and careers of junior scholars in particular."

    Squeamish Publishers

    Association officials say they are acting to protect the interests of new Ph.D.'s and to make sure that book publishers still have a stake in historical scholarship.

    "Our concern is that students have choices," says James R. Grossman, executive director of the association and a senior research associate in the history department at the University of Chicago. "We are aware that some university presses are getting squeamish about publishing dissertations that are available widely and freely across the Internet and even if they are substantially revised."

    Jacqueline Jones, vice president of the association's professional division and a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, says that extending an embargo can be beneficial because it gives new Ph.D.'s more time to revise a dissertation into a publishable monograph. Students can fine-tune their work by excising some material, incorporating new archival findings, and further developing their arguments in a style and tone that can resonate with a wider audience.

    Supporters of the association's statement say that new Ph.D.'s are operating in a world where the market for scholarly books, which are often specialized and expensive, is shrinking and so, too, are library budgets. The option for extra embargo time, the supporters say, will help young scholars protect their work from predatory publishers and from being scooped by other researchers as they navigate a tough job market for tenure-track positions.

    Critics of the statement note that the movement for open access to scholarly material has picked up steam in the past few years, and they suggest that the association's new policy reflects how it feels threatened by that movement. The bid to extend the embargo length, the critics say, is a maneuver to delay a movement that is not going away.

    The critics also argue that, by putting the printed book on a pedestal at a time when research is taking many other forms, the association is marginalizing historical research. Meanwhile, there's a standoff between the competing priorities of university presses, libraries, and hiring, tenure, and promotion committees. Graduate students are caught in the middle or are being used as proxies in debates over scholarly publishing, they say.

    'Anecdotes, Ghost Stories, and Fear'

    The association's statement has sparked much debate on social media and academic blogs.

    "Surprise, surprise, open-access advocates everywhere have started sniveling," Adam Crymble, a doctoral student in history at King's College London, wrote in a blog post titled "Students Should Be Empowered, Not Bullied Into Open Access."

    "No! they cry," Mr. Crymble continued: "We shouldn't support a resolution passed in good faith to protect the career progression of new scholars against scholarly presses that are allegedly refusing to accept manuscripts based on openly available dissertations. We should be burning books and the organizations that publish them. Down with books, up with free information on the Internet! Lovely, but you can't eat free information."

    But some critics of the association's suggested policy, including Dorothea R. Salo, a faculty associate at the University of Wisconsin at Madison's School of Library and Information Studies, say the statement is couched in paternalistic language.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Question
    How many accounting doctoral dissertations have been published as commercial books?

    John Canning's 1929 Princeton thesis (published by Ronald Press) does not count as an accounting dissertation even though it became one of the most cited works in the history of accountancy in the 20th Century. Canning was an economics doctoral student at Princeton. Canning is one of Tom Selling's heroes.

    For a number of years in the 1960s Prentice-Hall published its "award-winning" doctoral theses in accounting and other business administration fields. However, these were never intended to commercial books in the same sense as other Prentice-Hall Books. This was more of a public relations service by Prentice-Hall. I still have most of these books on my shelves. Many were Carnegie-Mellon doctoral dissertations. Carnegie was unique in those days by forcing doctoral students to commence a dissertation in the first year of their doctoral studies. In subsequent years doctoral students conducted the thesis research and added chapters as they took courses related to their research topic. Many of the chapters were term papers in those courses. An example is the water-bottle budgeting research conducted by Andy Stedry at Carnegie.

    For decades USA doctoral dissertations in virtually all disciplines have have been available from a service commenced by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. This is not a free service, but getting copies of dissertations in this manner discourages publishing houses from publishing dissertations at prices higher than the Ann Arbor service.


    "Larry Summers's Billion-Dollar Bad Bet at Harvard," by Matthew C. Klein, Bloomberg, July 18, 2013 ---

    President Obama has only a few months to pick a candidate to replace Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve, and while the betting website Paddy Power has Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen leading the pack at 1:4 odds, Larry Summers remains a strong contender at 11:2.

    Despite an impressive resume that includes stints as Treasury Secretary and chief economist of the World Bank, there is a very good reason Summers shouldn't be in charge of monetary policy: He seems to have trouble with interest rates.

    During the financial crisis, Harvard lost nearly $1 billion because of some unusual and ill-judged interest rate swaps that Summers implemented in the early 2000s during his troubled tenure as the university's president.

    Interest rate swaps allow borrowers to lock in a fixed interest rate on floating-rate debt, which can be good to hedge against short-term uncertainty. The problem with Harvard was that Summers wanted to lock in interest rates for money that the university hadn't actually borrowed and wasn't planning on borrowing for a very long time.

    There aren't a lot of ways to interpret this exotic instrument except as a bet that the future level of interest rates would be higher than the market pricing implied at the time. That bet was wrong, and Harvard lost a billion dollars. Anonymous finance blogger Epicurean Dealmaker puts it well:

    "I have rarely encountered a corporate client who feels confident enough about both their absolute funding needs and current and impending market conditions to enter into a forward swap starting more than nine months into the future. Entering into a forward start swap for debt you do not intend to issue up to 20 years in the future sounds like either rank hubris or free money for Wall Street swap desks."

    Why, back in 2004, did Summers feel so confident that interest rates were going to be much higher than they actually were? Reuters blogger Felix Salmon found one clue in a speech Summers gave in October of that year. Among other he things, Summers warned of the dangers created by the U.S. current account deficit and highlighted the seemingly absurd fact that short-term borrowing costs were lower than the rate of inflation. Perhaps Summers's experience with foreign-exchange crises in Asia and Latin America convinced him that something similar could happen in a country that borrowed in its own currency.

    Not only was Summers wrong in 2004 about where interest rates would be -- he was willing to bet a lot of other people's money that he knew better than everyone else. The damage at Harvard was bad enough. Imagine what that sort of thing could do to the U.S. economy.

    Bob Jensen's threads on how to value interest rate swaps and account for them under FASB rules are at

    For virtually every product available for sale on Amazon.com, former buyers are asked to review the product. Most reviews are published on the same page as the product description. I seldom find glowing reviews helpful, because I'm suspicious that vendors plant such reviews. However, the negative reviews are often very informative and occasionally even humorous ---

    "Modern Masterpieces of Comedic Genius: The Art of the Humorous Amazon Review," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, May 20, 2013 ---

    "America's REAL Most Expensive Colleges," by Peter Jacobs, Business Insider, July 10, 2013 ---

    Followed by a listing of the 25 most underrated colleges that may prove to be better buys ---

    Followed by The 50 Best Colleges in America ---

    While some law schools deans are facing possible jail time for fabricating rankings data, some business school deans may also be on the docket
    "Yet Another Rankings Fabrication," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed,  January 2, 2012 ---

    Tulane University has admitted that it sent U.S. News & World Report incorrect information about the test scores and total number of applicants for its M.B.A. program.

    The admission -- as 2012 closed -- made the university the fourth college or university in that year to admit false reporting of some admissions data used for rankings. In 2011, two law schools and one undergraduate institution were found to have engaged in false reporting of some admissions data.

    A statement issued by Tulane said that it discovered the problem when preparing a new set business school data for U.S. News and found that numbers, "including GMAT scores and the number of applications, skewed significantly lower than the previous two years. Since the school’s standards and admissions criteria have not changed, this raised a concern that our data from previous years had been misreported."

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    Years ago when I was invited to speak at Tulane, the Associate Dean of the Business School showed me a very colorful booklet of the Top Ten MBA Programs in the USA. It showed Tulane's MBA Program as being in the Top 10, whereas US News did not even include Tulane in the Top 50. I asked this dean about who did the rankings for the Tulane booklet. Without even batting an eye he admitted that Tulane did the ranking.

    2013 US News College Rankings --- Click Here

    US News:  Colleges Falsifying Reported Data to Obtain Higher Media Rankings: Who, How, and Why
    "FAQs on Recent Data Misreporting by Colleges," by Robert Morse, US News, January 10, 2013

    Bob Jensen's threads on ranking controversies ---

    And the Winners Are Harvard, Yale, and Stanford in That Order
    The World's Best Business Schools According to Business Insider

    Jensen Comment
    There's a lot of historic prestige-effect of the overall universities relative to business schools per se in this ranking. For example, Oxford University in the U.K. is ranked Number 9 globally in terms of its one-year MBA program. I question whether the same business school would come out with such a high ranking if it were part of The Open University with the same faculty, staff, students, and facilities.

    Book Review in The New York Times
    Why Men Need Women
    July 21, 2013

    Jensen Comment
    There are some surprising correlations backed by interesting speculation and conjecture in this study. The study probably attributes more power to a CEO than that CEO actually has in terms of circumstances and serendipity in a company. Some of the correlations may be spurious. For example, I think compensation of employees is more heavily influenced by business operations relative to the gender of the CEO's babies at home.

    "E-Textbooks Report Questions Cost Savings," by Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education, July 18, 2013 ---

    Digital texbooks are gaining ground in education, as shown by a study released by the Book Industry Study Group earlier this year: Students' preference for print text over digital dropped from 72 percent in November 2011 to 60 percent in late 2012. 

    And a recent EDUCAUSE study finds that students and faculty value lower-cost textbooks -- though they aren't sure that the current digital textbook model will drive prices down.

    Last fall, more than 5,000 students and faculty at 23 colleges and universities participated in an e-textbook pilot with EDUCAUSE, Internet2, McGraw-Hill Education and Courseload, and the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) published the findings in Understanding What Higher Education Needs from E-Textbooks: An EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Pilot.

    Both students and faculty cited cost as the No. 1 factor they considered when looking at digital textbooks, followed by availability and portability. Some of the biggest barriers to adoption included the funding model and fee structure.

    While the students in this pilot didn't have to pay for their e-textbooks, they would pay a mandatory fee per class for e-textbooks outside of the pilot. The mandatory fee guarantees that all the students at a university would purchase a digital textbook and thus give the publisher a larger number of customers. In turn, the publisher would charge the university less for buying in volume.

    But in written comments, students said they wanted to be able to opt out of fees and find other ways to get the content. And it's up in the air whether they would take classes with a fee: one-third responding that yes they would, nearly a quarter said no, and 43 percent chose maybe.

    Faculty also supported students' desire for less expensive options and choices. And traditional publishing models -- even revised for digital publishing -- may not cut it.

    They noted that students look for study materials in many places, which is why it's important to consider other types of course materials besides e-textbooks. And since this is an ever-changing field, education leaders would be wise to consider many business models, as well as the needs of different groups of students and faculty.

    One of the keys in making decisions about digital content is "to understand what students and faculty need from these course materials and keep that front and center," said Susan Grajek, vice president of data, research and analytics for EDUCAUSE.

    In the ECAR 2012 Study of Undergraduate Students and Technology, 57 percent of students said they wished their instructors used open educational resources more, compared to 47 percent who wanted more e-textbooks. In the previous year, nearly a third of students wanted more e-textbooks, and 19 percent of students wanted open educational resources. 

    In this pilot, some students and faculty really liked the e-textbooks, and some hated them so much that they bought a print textbook, Grajek said.

    Faculty members can be change agents when it comes to different technology, but they need support. In this pilot, faculty members said one of their biggest barriers was limited access to the e-textbooks.

    They only had the e-textbooks during the course, so more than half of them didn't make annotations and other notes because they would disappear once the course was over. Interestingly enough, students in 96 percent of the courses used highlights, sticky notes, annotations or bookmarks in their e-textbook.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    If e-Textbooks were available 50 years ago they would definitely be cheaper because savings in terms of hard copy printing, inventory, and distribution costs.

    But the costs of hard copy printing, inventory, and distribution costs have changed dramatically over those 50 years such that e-Textbooks are no longer "definitely" cheaper.

    Consider for example the way that Amazon saves on inventory costs of used books. Amazon eliminated itself as a middleman in the buying, warehousing, and redistributing used books. It is now simply provides a guarantee that the buyer of a used book will receive that book directly from households who are willing to ship the book directly to the used book buyers. In the grand scheme of things inventory costs are cheaper in aggregate. The marginal cost of storing one book in each of 100,000 households is virtually zero. But the marginal cost of storing 100,000 books in a single warehouse is huge. Thus, Amazon has a way of saving a lot of inventory cost by having each current owner store the book at home.

    And computers have greatly changed the production functions of printing books. Five decades ago, the marginal cost of each book was reduced by having enormous printing press runs due to economies of scale. This unfortunately led to huge inventory costs. Distribution costs were also relatively high since the printing houses were centrally located and had to ship to warehouses around the world.

    Today, computerized print runs can be much smaller and even reduced to a point where a hard copy order is received before the book is printed. And the book can be printed at computer sites all over the world.

    Hard copy has less sharing risk than electronic versions. Students and other book thieves have talents for staying a step ahead of electronic book publishers, including sharing of passwords and downloading of electronic books to criminal servers. Sometimes enemies of the United States make a business out of selling purloined software and electronic literature.

    Shipping costs still exist for hard copy books, but electronic book distribution is not free given the costs of hardware and technician labor that goes into keeping books available in the clouds.

    In terms of textbooks, many of the huge costs do not go away with a shift from hard copy to electronic versions. Authors must still be paid and sometimes the authors demand more if they must put in more labor keeping books up to date year-to-year rather than every five years. Frequent updating is probably the major advantage of electronic books in the clouds relative to hard copy.

    Textbook publishers must still pay representatives to work each college campus trying to entice professors to adopt particular textbooks. Electronic marketing has not yet taken the place of face-to-face communications between sellers and instructors.

    Textbook publishers must still pay to participate in expensive trade shows such as when setting up booths at academic conferences. Sales personnel must now be trained better to answer questions regarding such things as technology supplements that accompany textbooks.

    In the final analysis I think cost savings will not be the key competitive advantage of electronic textbooks over hard copy. The key competitive advantages will be such things as the following:

    1. Ease of continuously updating electronic textbooks, especially those that are in the clouds.
    2. Multimedia features such as video clips and interactive spreadsheets that can be included in electronic textbooks.
    3. Reader conveniences in electronic books such as word search and cut-and-paste quotation conveniences.
    4. Possible cost savings by cutting out the publishing companies when authors distribute their electronic books directly to customers or by marketing their books via Amazon rather than McGraw Hill.

    Bob Jensen's threads on hard copy versus electronic books ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at

    Make Your Own eBook with Blurb ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on eBooks ---

    "The First 8 Excel Tricks You Have To Learn On The Way To Becoming A Master," by Walter Hickey, Business Insider, July 10, 2013 ---

    "How To Use Index/Match, The One Microsoft Excel Trick That Separates The Gurus From The Interns," by Walter Hickey, Business Insider, July 11, 2013 ---

    We've been writing a lot about Microsoft Excel formulas.

    The program is the gold standard of programs. It's elegant, ubiquitous, and outstandingly powerful.

    American business lives and dies by the spreadsheet, and everyone is always looking to hone their skills.

    There's one trick, though, that separates the quants from the interns.

    That trick is Index/Match, a function that can find any value in any spreadsheet.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/excel-index-match-2013-7?op=1#ixzz2Ypc1HDwB

    Continued in article

    "The Risk of Using Spreadsheets for Statistical Analysis," CFO.com Whitepaper, 2012 ---

    While spreadsheets are widely used for statistical analysis, they are useful only to a certain point. When used for a task they?re not designed to perform, or for a task beyond the limit of their capabilities, using spreadsheets can be risky. Read this paper to learn about more powerful yet easy-to-use analytics alternatives that may be more suitable.

    Bob Jensen's Excel helpers ---

    "Toward" Versus "Towards"
    From the Grammar Girl Newsletter on July 16, 2013

    "Toward" or "Towards"?

    Jamie, Mia, Beverly, and Gen all wrote to me wondering what the difference is between "toward" and "towards."

    "Toward" and "towards" are both correct and interchangeable: you can use either one because they mean the same thing.

    Many sources say the "s" is more common in Britain than in the United States. The safest choice is to consider your audience:

    If your audience is primarily American, use "toward." If your audience is primarily British, use "towards."

    Bob Jensen's Helpers for Writers ---

    "Sleep and the Teenage Brain," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, July 17, 2013 ---

    "Richard Feynman on Good, Evil, and the Zen of Science, Plus His Prose Poem for the Glory of Evolution," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, July 19, 2013 ---

    "Why Time Slows Down When We’re Afraid, Speeds Up as We Age, and Gets Warped on Vacation," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, July 15, 2013 ---

    "Desktop printing at the nano level," Eureka Alert, July 17, 2013 ---

    "Ten Business School Professors Who Make $4.3 Million A Year," by John A. Byrne, Linkedin, July 2013 ---

    Thunderbird School of Global Management --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbird_School_of_Global_Management
    A decade or so ago, Thunderbird shed (with negotiated buyouts) some of its expensive tenured faculty, including senior accounting faculty members. But it retained even more expensive faculty on the payroll that are problematic as global MBA enrollments dropped from over 1,500 in the 1990s to 140 in Fall of  in 2012 and an operating deficit of $4 million in fiscal 2013. The placement record in 2013 for MBA graduates is among the worst in the nation according to the Forbes' article quoted below.

    "Flailing Thunderbird Business School Was Asking For Trouble With These Exorbitant Professor Salaries," John A. Byrne, Business Insider, July 12, 2013 ---

    . . .

    The highest paid professor at the Thunderbird School of Global Management makes more than the dean of the Harvard Business School. Or his boss. Or, for that matter, President Obama.

    Yet, he is little known outside his Glendale, Arizona-based school, not widely quoted in the media, nor broadly recognized as an expert in his field. He doesn’t even make the list of the top 50 business thinkers in the world.

    Still, global strategy professor Kannan Ramaswarmy (photo above) was paid total compensation, with benefits, of $700,096 in fiscal 2011, according to government records filed by Thunderbird. That’s more than the $662,054 in total compensation made by Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria or then-Thunderbird President Angel Cabrera who pulled down $584,749 in 2011. And it’s more than the estimated $550,000 in pay, benefits and perks that President Obama makes.

    How in the world can a struggling school which has been in decline for many years afford to pay Ramaswamy so much? For one thing, he teaches in several of the school’s executive education programs which are among its more lucrative ventures. For another, he has tenure and the school can’t cross him off its employment roster even if it wanted.

    Yet, he’s hardly alone in getting big pay at Thunderbird. In fact, the highest paid ten professors alone in fiscal 2011 were paid some $4.3 million, more than the $4 million deficit reported by the school, red ink that forced it into a highly controversial partnership with for-profit educational provider Laureate Education. Not surprisingly, perhaps, all of the most highly paid profs are men.

    Andrew Inkpen, another global strategy professor, was paid $565,457 with benefits in the same year. Graeme Rankine, an associate professor of accounting, was paid $492,908. The compensation for three other faculty members—Robert Hisrich, a professor of global entrepreneurship; William Youngdahl, associate professor of operations management, and Mansour Javidan, dean of research—all easily topped $400,000 a year.

    Among the other top ten most highly compensated faculty at the school are John Mathis, a professor of global finance, who made $302,191; David Bowen, a human resources professor, who made $307,582; Dale Davison, a professor of accounting, who pulled down $261,789, and Humberto Valencia, a professor of global marketing, who made $260,109.

    For just about all of these professors, of course, this is only the compensation paid to them by Thunderbird. Many faculty members also have lucrative consulting contracts with clients that can equal or vastly exceed their income from the school.

    Nice work if you can get it.

    "Inside Thunderbird B-school's chronic decline," by Taylor Ellis, Forbes, July 11, 2013 ---

    . . .

    Some observers say the deal is evidence of waning interest in the MBA degree. In fact, many of the institution's troubles have been long lasting and self-inflicted, making it a quintessential case study in organizational decline. The new partnership reflects years of deterioration due to increased competition from rivals, lackluster fundraising, insufficient resources devoted to getting jobs for students, and overly generous compensation for some of its faculty.

    The school's endowment, which in recent years has been below $20 million, is meager compared to many of its business school competitors. It didn't help that a $60 million naming gift, at the time in 2004 the largest pledge ever made to a business school, never fully materialized.

    Yet, even though the school lacks a significant endowment, several of its professors have been paid extraordinarily well. Kannan Ramaswamy, a global strategy professor who teaches in Thunderbird's executive education programs, had a total compensation package with benefits of $700,096 in fiscal 2011. That is munificent pay for an academic who is not known as a superstar outside his school in Glendale, Arizona. It even exceeded the total pay of then-Thunderbird President Angel Cabrera whose compensation totaled $584,749.

    While Ramaswany is the highest paid employee at Thunderbird, according to the school's government filings, he is hardly alone. Andrew Inkpen, another global strategy professor, was paid $565,457 with benefits the same year. Graeme Rankine, an associate professor of accounting, was paid $492,908. The compensation for three other faculty members -- Robert Hisrich, a professor of global entrepreneurship; William Youngdahl, associate professor of operations management, and Mansour Javidan, dean of research -- all topped $400,000 a year.

    It's not unusual for world class faculty to be paid so generously, but the highest paid business school professors tend to be widely known and publicly visible figures at universities that can afford them, not at a troubled school that has been in a long-term fight for survival.

    A B-school in perpetual decline

    The school's full-time MBA enrollment has been steadily declining for years, falling to just 380 from more than 1,500 in 1990. Last fall, its entering class totaled only 140 students. The placement stats for last year's graduating class, meantime, were among the worst reported by any business school in the U.S. Some 76% of Thunderbird's class of 2012 were without jobs at commencement.

    Indeed, Penley sees the agreement with Laureate as a way to fix the school's lagging placement record. "One of the reasons for the alliance has to do with their very successful employment record for graduates," he said. "Laureate has an employment network that is global. It gives us the opportunity to tap into that employee network and improve our placement record."

    Continued in article


    Also see

     Jensen Questions
    This begs two questions:

    First Question
    If Thunderbird is experiencing such a rapid decline in both enrollments and placements of graduates, what is going to be the impact on admission standards?

    Second Question
    If some of those faculty receiving outlier salaries leave Thunderbird what kind of compensation deals can they negotiate from Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Wharton, UCLA, Berkeley, Northwestern, etc.? Would they be hired by a top MBA program at any price? My guess is that they may not get any offers of full professorships from the truly top MBA programs.


    Associate Professor Graeme  Rankine ---

    There's a short bit about how some students wanted Professor Ranine reinstated after his contract was not renewed at Rice University ---

    He's done very well since leaving Rice.

    The Economist Magazine Ranks Global Executive MBA Programs ---
    What happened to Thunderbird?

    If I knew the answers to these I might become a very popular commencement speaker.

    "13 Brain-Melting Questions That Companies Ask During Interviews," by Alexandra Mondalek, Business Insider, July 10, 2013 ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on careers ---

    "Wikipedia’s Women Problem," by James Gleick, The New York Review of Books, April 29, 2013 ---

    Wikipedia and women. Ninety percent of the editors are men. And it shows. There are fewer articles on female poets than on porno actresses.

    Jensen Comment
    Although I think there should be more women editors, keep in mind that most editors are volunteers. Also keep in mind that Wikipedia entries are submitted by scholars of the world. The Wikipedia editors do their best with limited resources to correct errors and bias, but they are not the cause of the alleged shortage of entries on female poets and male poets randomly submitted by scholars of the world, especially those many obscure poets over the ages.

    An Example
    Every woman poet that I've considered has a module on Wikipedia. For example, Charlotte Mew had size-2 shoes and a thing for older women. Thomas Hardy called her “the best living woman poet.” Why have we forgotten her? ---

    Charlotte Mew --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Mew

    Imploding Job Market:  Two-Year MA Degree in Journalism Degree Program Shrinks to Nine-Months
    "J-School Makeovers,"  by Lauren Ingeno, Inside Higher Ed, July 16, 2013 ---

    So who wants to major in journalism?  Practically nobody!
    Journalism school majors are now competing with philosophy graduates for burger-flipping careers.
    Am I happy about this? Absolutely and irrevocably --- NO!

    The Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation on Monday announced an $11 million expansion of their joint program to reform journalism education by supporting new programs at selected institutions. The additional funds will continue fellowships and curricular efforts at the eight journalism schools in the program and add three more: those at Arizona State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
    Inside Higher Ed, July 8, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/07/08/qt

    Reviving Journalism Schools
    For as long as doomsayers have predicted the decline of civic-minded reportage as we know it, reformers have sought to draft a rewrite of the institutions that train many undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a career in journalism. Criticisms of journalism schools have ranged from questioning whether the institutions are necessary in the first place (since many journalists, and most senior ones, don’t have journalism degrees) to debating the merits of teaching practical skills versus theory and whether curriculums should emphasize broad knowledge or specialization in individual fields . . . The sessions were part of an effort to evaluate the function of journalism schools in an age of new media and the public’s declining faith in the fourth estate: the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education, which in 2005 enlisted top institutions in the country to bolster their curriculums with interdisciplinary studies and expose students to different areas of knowledge, including politics, economics, philosophy and the sciences. The initiative, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, also works with journalism schools to incubate selected students working on national reporting projects.
    Andy Guess, "Reviving the J-School," Inside Higher Ed, January 10, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/01/10/jschools

    "In India, Academics Defend Photocopying of Textbooks for Course Packs," by Mridu Khullar Relph," Chronicle of Higher Education, July 15, 2013 ---

    In early July, after the monsoon rains have washed away the last of an oppressive heat, students and their parents arrive in droves here at the University of Delhi to begin the academic year. It is a busy time for the roadside markets and other businesses near the campus, when they earn most of their annual income from sales of tea, snacks, T-shirts, and, most important, course packs.

    But this year, confusion and unease pervade the dozens of photocopy shops that produce the packs, which include a semester's worth of reading material from various textbooks and academic journals. That's because one of their own, Rameshwari Photocopy Services, is at the center of a legal fight that has gained international attention.

    Three of the world's biggest academic publishers—Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Taylor & Francis—are suing Rameshwari and the university for producing thousands of bound course packs a year. They claim that the course packs violate various copyrights, hurt their bottom lines, and reduce residual payments to the academics in India, the United States, and elsewhere whose work is being copied.

    But the publishers' move has drawn widespread criticism among professors and students in India. They say this kind of photocopying not only is entirely within the law, but also is essential for education in a developing country where students can barely afford one textbook, let alone dozens for each class.

    Indeed, the opponents' portrayal of wealthy, Western publishers trying to wring funds from poor Indian students has helped trigger a global outcry. Last year Amartya Sen, the Harvard economist and Nobel laureate, sent a letter asking the Oxford press, which publishes his work, to abandon the lawsuit. In March a similar letter to all three presses came from more than 300 academics and authors from around the world—33 of whom the publishers name in the suit as victims of copyright infringement.

    "As authors and educators, we would like to place on record our distress at this act of the publishers, as we recognize the fact that in a country like India marked by sharp economic inequalities, it is often not possible for every student to obtain a personal copy of a book," the letter said.

    Of course, legal battles over course packs and copyrights are not new to academe. In the United States, for example, a closely watched case brought by Cambridge, Oxford, and SAGE Publications against Georgia State University is working its way through the U.S. court system. The publishers assert that the university committed widespread copyright violations when it allowed some of their content to be used, unlicensed, in electronic reserves.

    The Rameshwari Photocopy case touches on some of the same issues but may have broader implications for the country's universities, where photocopying has long been standard operating procedure.

    It's been a student tradition in India for decades: Look through a syllabus and head off to the copy shop to get a course pack. Indian professors as well as students argue that the packets are integral to university education.

    "If I have to teach a subject, I design a very elaborate teaching plan, the aim of that being that I need to expose my students to and have them thinking critically about several key themes and topics through a wide diversity of reading," says Shamnad Basheer, a professor of intellectual-property law at Kolkata's National University of Juridical Sciences. "These are not textbooks. These are short extracts of books and several different books. They in no way affect the market of the main books." 'It's the Law of the Land'

    But the publishers claim that course packs are in violation of India's Copyright Act of 1957, which gives copyright holders exclusive rights over reproduction of the material. They do not intend to deny Indian students the texts needed for their education, they insist, arguing that universities can pay an annual licensing fee that would allow for limited reproduction of the covered publications.

    "It's the law of the land that photocopying for commercial purposes is not desirable, because it's not fair to stakeholders concerned," says Sudhir Malhotra, president of the Federation of Indian Publishers, which represents the Indian branches of the three plaintiffs. The photocopy shop, by selling course packs, is engaging in commercial activity, he says.

    "Yes, we recognize that students do need to photocopy certain educational material, and they need to do it easily, quickly, and as inexpensively as possible," Mr. Malhotra says. "All we are saying is that [copy shops and universities] should take a license. It's a question of legal compliance. If a radio station wants to broadcast music, a song, it takes a license from the music society. That's it."

    Last year the federation endorsed a plan by the Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation, which grants literary copyright licenses, to provide licenses to universities that want to be able to reproduce the works of publishers that work with the rights group. This year, some Indian universities signed up.

    But many academics argue that the publishers are overlooking the fact that Indian copyright law has a fair-use clause and an education exemption.

    Satish Deshpande, a sociology professor at Delhi, says the publishers want the courts to essentially rewrite the law.

    "I think this case is a very deliberate 'test' case on the part of the publishers," he says. "They're not really interested in the specifics of this particular case, but they want to use it as an example, and, in a sense, they want to use it to reinterpret the copyright law in a way that will suit their interests better than the letter of the law now seems to."

    Mr. Malhotra, of the publishers' federation, denies that they have any motive other than to honor the letter of the law.

    Other academics take issue with the licensing fees that universities would have to pay if they signed an agreement with the Indian Reprographic Rights Organization.

    Mr. Basheer, the professor of intellectual-property law, says that the fees, which vary depending on the university, may seem low but would very likely increase over time, and that universities would pass the expense on to students themselves.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    Years ago I put copies of most readings in my courses, including my textbooks, on reserve in the campus library. In those days it was more expensive for students to photocopy a textbook than to buy it new or used. Putting the textbook on reserve was mostly a convenience for students who wanted to study on a particular day and had left their textbooks at home.

    Technology has changed the situation today. Now textbooks are very expensive, and students who take the trouble to use a scanner can get free electronic copies.  I don't think publishers have a copyright case against a professor who simply puts several copies of the textbook on reserve at the library. The professor has no control over a student's decision to scan a free copy (with a huge amount of time and effort). The publisher could sue students for doing this, but it would be hard to detect when a student scans in privacy.

    I think a professor who puts an electronic copy on a server, such as a Blackboard server, without permission from the copyright holder is in violation of copyright law. The Fair Use Safe Harbor does not apply to this egregious act ---

    Also professors who give closed-book examinations and allow students to use their computers (not connected to the Internet) must worry that those computers contain electronic versions of textbooks.

    Remember the "90-Day Wonders" Program in WW II when US Navy officers were cranked out in 90 days ---

    New University of MichiganProgram Lets Undergrads Get Graduate Management Degrees in 10 Months ---

    The new (10-Month for liberal arts graduates) Master of Management program will fill a gap between Ross’s BBA program for undergraduates and its MBA program for more experienced applicants.
    "New Ross Program Lets Undergrads Get Business Cred,"---
    by Elizabeth Rowe, Bloomberg Businessweek, July 10, 2013 ---

    Jensen Comment
    The $41.000 price of the program for Michigan residents and $46.000 for non-residents makes me wonder how much this program is deemed a cash cow program for a questionable "quickie" Masters in Management degree. Northwestern University has a similar program at a similar price for students who lack the experience requirement for admission to Northwestern's much more intense and longer MBA Program with higher admission hurdles.

    Graduates of these quickie programs for students who could not even spell the word "business" the first day of class will have much less education in accounting, finance, economics, and information systems than either undergraduate business majors, masters of accounting majors, or MBA majors. Presumably they will pick up these other specialties on an as-needed basis once they land their first jobs. They may become excellent managers who still cannot read financial statements or comprehend investment and tax strategies.

    Employers often look at MBA graduates as 90-Day Wonders. The new programs at Michigan and Northwestern add a whole new meaning to "90-Day Wonders."

    When it happens multiple times, plagiarism is "hardly an accident"
    "(University of Virginia Graduate Business) Darden PhD Student Accused of Plagiarism," by Louis Lavelle, Bloomberg Businessweek, July 18, 2013 ---

    Some years back there was a much more widespread cheating scandal by over 100 students at the University of Virginia ---
    "Plagiarist Booted; Others Wait," by Katie Dean ---

    One student has been expelled, and more than 100 cases of plagiarism remain to be resolved at the University of Virginia after a physics professor used a computer program to catch students who turned in duplicate papers, or portions of papers that appeared to have been copied.

    The school's student-run Honor Committee spent the summer investigating a fraction of the cases, and will continue to do so through the fall semester.

    The committee's work has been slow over the summer break since many students are away. Thomas Hall, chairman of the committee, said he hopes to complete the remaining investigations by the end of October, and finish the trials by the end of the fall semester

    Bob Jensen's threads on cheating ---

    "The Rise of Big Data:  How It's Changing the Way We Think About the World," by Kenneth Neil Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, Foreign Affairs, May/June 2013 ---

    Big Data, we’re told, will change everything. So what will remain of intuition and serendipity in our brave new hyperquantified world?...

    "How Non-Scientific Granulation Can Improve Scientific Accountics"

    "Blackboard Announces New MOOC Platform," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 10, 2013 ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on the controversial history of Blackboard ---

    July 19, 2013 message from Glen Gray

    The follow is the lead to an article that appeared in today’s L.A. Times

    “San Jose State University is suspending a highly touted collaboration with online provider Udacity to offer low-cost, for-credit online courses after finding that more than half of the students failed to pass the classes, officials said Thursday.”

    Udacity Experiment at San Jose State Suspended After 56% to 76% of Students Fail Final Exams ---

    Are competency-based MOOCs tougher for students than traditional courses?
    "Udacity Project on 'Pause'," by Ry Rivard. Chronicle of Higher Education,

    San Jose State's experiment with MOOC provider attracted enormous attention when it was launched. But students didn't do as well as they did in traditional classes.


    "A University's Offer of Credit for a MOOC Gets No Takers," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 8, 2013 ---

    Jensen Comment
    With nationwide median grades being around A- in live classrooms, it may well be that students just fear that the same loose grading standards will not be applied to competency-based grading in a MOOC ---

    Students cannot brown nose a MOOC for a higher grade ---

    There may also be problems transferring these MOOC credits to other universities. There are many universities who do not allow transfer credit for distance education courses in general, although this is somewhat hard to enforce when major universities do not distinguish (on transcripts) what sections of courses were taken onsite versus online. In may instances students have a choice as to whether to take onsite sections or online sections of the same course. But when all sections are only available via distance education other universities may deny transfer credits. In accountancy, some state societies of CPAs, such as in Texas, limit the number of distance education courses allowed for permission to take the CPA examination.

    Also it could be that this MOOC alternative just was not publicized enough to reach its potential market.

    Bob Jensen's threads on the controversial history of the OKI and the MOOCs ---

    "UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD TEACHING," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, July 15, 2013 ---

    Jensen Comment
    A possibly very good case study might be to try to measure the importance of teaching when most students in a particular course at San Jose State University pass the course in a traditional classroom but not in a MOOC.

    Udacity Experiment at San Jose State Suspended After 56% to 76% of Students Fail Final Exams ---

    Of course differences in student performance cannot all be attributed to teaching. Many of them may not have taken the MOOC alternative seriously thinking that Udacity would have lower academic standards. In other words they may not have put in the effort in the MOOC course that they would put into a traditional classroom where, among other things, attendance might be mandatory.

    In the MOOC alternative performance is based on competency-based examinations. In a traditional course instructors generally give credit for other things such as class attendance, class participation, evidence of effort (e.g., in office hours), and let's face it --- brown nose credit for effort.

    But almost certainly there is some causal impact of teaching differences between the MOOC versus the traditional classroom.

    "SLAVES TO THE ALGORITHM:  More and more of modern life is steered by algorithms. But what are they exactly, and who is behind them? Tom Whipple follows the trail, Intelligent Life Magazine, May/June 2013 ---

    There are many reasons to believe that film stars earn too much. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie once hired an entire train to travel from London to Glasgow. Tom Cruise’s daughter Suri is reputed to have a wardrobe worth $400,000. Nicolas Cage once paid $276,000 for a dinosaur head. He would have got it for less, but he was bidding against Leonardo DiCaprio.

    Nick Meaney has a better reason for believing that the stars are overpaid: his algorithm tells him so. In fact, he says, with all but one of the above actors, the studios are almost certainly wasting their money. Because, according to his movie-analysis software, there are only three actors who make money for a film. And there is at least one A-list actress who is worth paying not to star in your next picture. 

    The headquarters of Epagogix, Meaney’s company, do not look like the sort of headquarters from which one would confidently launch an attack on Hollywood royalty. A few attic rooms in a shared south London office, they don’t even look as if they would trouble Dollywood. But my meeting with Meaney will be cut short because of another he has, with two film executives. And at the end, he will ask me not to print the full names of his analysts, or his full address. He is worried that they could be poached.

    Worse though, far worse, would be if someone in Hollywood filched his computer. It is here that the iconoclasm happens. When Meaney is given a job by a studio, the first thing he does is quantify thousands of factors, drawn from the script. Are there clear bad guys? How much empathy is there with the protagonist? Is there a sidekick? The complex interplay of these factors is then compared by the computer to their interplay in previous films, with known box-office takings. The last calculation is what it expects the film to make. In 83% of cases, this guess turns out to be within $10m of the total. Meaney, to all intents and purposes, has an algorithm that judges the value—or at least the earning power—of art.

    To explain how, he shows me a two-dimensional representation: a grid in which each column is an input, each row a film. "Curiously," Meaney says, "if we block this column…" With one hand, he obliterates the input labelled "star", casually rendering everyone from Clooney to Cruise, Damon to De Niro, an irrelevancy. "In almost every case, it makes no difference to the money column."

    "For me that’s interesting. The first time I saw that I said to the mathematician, ‘You’ve got to change your program—this is wrong.’ He said, ‘I couldn’t care less—it’s the numbers.’" There are four exceptions to his rules. If you hire Will Smith, Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp, you seem to make a return. The fourth? As far as Epagogix can tell, there is an actress, one of the biggest names in the business, who is actually a negative influence on a film. "It’s very sad for her," he says. But hers is a name he cannot reveal. 

    F YOU TAKE the Underground north from Meaney’s office, you will pass beneath the housing estates of south London. Thousands of times every second, above your head, someone will search for something on Google. It will be an algorithm that determines what they see; an algorithm that is their gatekeeper to the internet. It will be another algorithm that determines what adverts accompany the search—gatekeeping does not pay for itself.

    Algorithms decide what we are recommended on Amazon, what films we are offered on Netflix. Sometimes, newspapers warn us of their creeping, insidious influence; they are the mysterious sciencey bit of the internet that makes us feel websites are stalking us—the software that looks at the e-mail you receive and tells the Facebook page you look at that, say, Pizza Hut should be the ad it shows you. Some of those newspaper warnings themselves come from algorithms. Crude programs already trawl news pages, summarise the results, and produce their own article, by-lined, in the case of Forbes magazine, "By Narrative Science".

    Others produce their own genuine news. On February 1st, the Los Angeles Times website ran an article that began "A shallow magnitude 3.2 earthquake was reported Friday morning." The piece was written at a time when quite possibly every reporter was asleep. But it was grammatical, coherent, and did what any human reporter writing a formulaic article about a small earthquake would do: it went to the US Geological Survey website, put the relevant numbers in a boilerplate article, and hit send. In this case, however, the donkey work was done by an algorithm.

    But it is not all new. It is also an algorithm that determines something as old-fashioned as the route a train takes through the Underground network—even which train you yourself take. An algorithm, at its most basic, is not a mysterious sciencey bit at all; it is simply a decision-making process. It is a flow chart, a computer program that can stretch to pages of code or is as simple as "If x is greater than y, then choose z".

    What has changed is what algorithms are doing. The first algorithm was created in the ninth century by the Arabic scholar Al Khwarizami—from whose name the word is a corruption. Ever since, they have been mechanistic, rational procedures that interact with mechanistic, rational systems. Today, though, they are beginning to interact with humans. The advantage is obvious. Drawing in more data than any human ever could, they spot correlations that no human would. The drawbacks are only slowly becoming apparent.

    Continue your journey into central London, and the estates give way to terraced houses divided into flats. Every year these streets inhale thousands of young professional singles. In the years to come, they will be gently exhaled: gaining partners and babies and dogs, they will migrate to the suburbs. But before that happens, they go to dinner parties and browse dating websites in search of that spark—the indefinable chemistry that tells them they have found The One.

    And here again they run into an algorithm. The leading dating sites use mathematical formulae and computations to sort their users’ profiles into pairs, and let the magic take its probabilistically predicted course.

    Not long after crossing the river, your train will pass the server farms of the Square Mile—banks of computers sited close to the fibre-optic cables, giving tiny headstarts on trades. Within are stored secret lines of code worth billions of pounds. A decade ago computer trading was an oddity; today a third of all deals in the City of London are executed automatically by algorithms, and in New York the figure is over half. Maybe, these codes tell you, if fewer people buy bananas at the same time as more buy gas, you should sell steel. No matter if you don’t know why; sell sell sell. In nanoseconds a trade is made, in milliseconds the market moves. And, when it all goes wrong, it goes wrong faster than it takes a human trader to turn his or her head to look at the unexpectedly red numbers on the screen.

    Finally, your train will reach Old Street—next door to the City, but a very different place. This is a part of town where every office seems to have a pool table, every corner a beanbag, every receptionist an asymmetric haircut. In one of those offices is TechHub. With its bare brick walls and website that insists on being your friend, this is the epitome of what the British government insists on calling Silicon Roundabout. After all, what America can do with valleys, surely Britain can do with traffic-flow measures.

    Inside are the headquarters of Simon Williams’s company QuantumBlack. The world, Williams says, has changed in the past decade—even if not everyone has noticed. “There’s a ton more data around. There’s new ways of handling it, processing it, manipulating it, interrogating it. The tooling has changed. The speed at which it happens has changed. You’re shaping it, sculpting it, playing with it.”

    QuantumBlack is, he says, a "data science" agency. In the same way as, ten years ago, companies hired digital-media agencies to make sense of e-commerce, today they need to understand data-commerce. "There’s been an alignment of stars. We’ve hit a crossover point in terms of the cost of storing and processing data versus ten years ago. Then, capturing and storing data was expensive, now it is a lot less so. It’s become economically viable to look at a shed load more data."

    When he says "look at", he means analysing it with algorithms. Some may be as simple as spotting basic correlations. Some apply the same techniques used to spot patterns in the human genome, or to assign behavioural patterns to individual hedge-fund managers. But there is no doubt which of Williams’s clients is the most glamorous: Formula 1 teams. This, it is clear, is the part of the job he loves the most.

    "It’s a theatre, an opera," he says. "The fun isn’t in the race, it’s in the strategy—the smallest margins win or lose races." As crucial as the driver, is when that driver goes for a pit stop, and how his car is set up. This is what QuantumBlack advises on: how much fuel you put in, what tyres to use, how often to change those tyres. "Prior to the race, we look at millions of scenarios. You’re constantly exploring."

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on real science versus pseudo science ---

    "Econ 101 is killing America:  Forget the dumbed-down garbage most economists spew. Their myths are causing tragic results for everyday Americans," by  Robert Atkinson and Michael Lind, Salon, July 8, 2013 ---

    Atkinson and Lind assert Econ 101 teaches that "all profitable activities are good for the economy." Balony! Virtually all Econ 101 teach about markets versus externalities (like pollution) for which markets do not exist. In the face of externalities government intervention is necessary --- as we teach in Econ 101 for which competition is inefficient. In the face of monopolies and oligopolies government intervention is necessary --- as we teach in Econ 101

    Atkinson and Lind assert Econ 101 teaches "monopolies and oligopolies are always bad because they distort prices." Balony! Virtually all Econ 101 teach about economies of scale.

    Atkinson and Lind assert low wages are bad for the economy. Of course they are bad for the economy in Vermont where people choose to go on welfare (the highest among the 50 states) rather than work in low skill jobs. But wages for high skilled labor are good for the economy when they are set by supply and demand rather than having the government inefficiently tinker with the labor markets.

    Atkinson and Lind have no answer to the Miracle in Chile where free markets eradicated poverty levels better than any socialist states in Latin and South America, something we do teach in Econ 101.
    Miricle of Chile --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_Chile

    Jensen Comment
    Talk about dumbed-down garbage --- this article is a great example of indoctrination rather than education.  For example, is government banning of advanced welding courses in Milwaukee a good thing because it limits the supply of skilled welders available to the Catepillar factory, thereby making Catepillar contemplate moving out of Milwaukee.

    Video:  Noam Chomsky Calls Postmodern Critiques of Science Over-Inflated “Polysyllabic Truisms” ---

    Video:  Slavoj Žižek Responds to Noam Chomsky: ‘I Don’t Know a Guy Who Was So Often Empirically Wrong’ ---

    Video:  The Feud Continues: Noam Chomsky Responds to Žižek, Describes Remarks as ‘Sheer Fantasy’ ---

    Slavoj Žižek Publishes a Very Clearly Written Essay-Length Response to Chomsky’s “Brutal” Criticisms ---

    Science and Pseudo-Science ---

    How much does it take to buy a fast-food franchise?

    It depends on the brand (and probably location) --- Click Here

    I think it also depends on operating costs. The rent is a whole lot higher in the La Guardia Airport or a Dallas Galleria than in some small town in Nowhere, Iowa.

    "Do Commodities Speculators Make Things Cost More?" by Justin Fox, Harvard Business Review Blog, July 22, 2013 --- Click Here

    Commodities trading, Adam Smith wrote in 1776, was a boon to efficiency and a foe to famine. It was also extremely unpopular, especially in years when harvests were poor (he was writing specifically of trading in corn).
    The popular odium ... which attends it in years of scarcity, the only years in which it can be very profitable, renders people of character and fortune averse to enter into it; and millers, bakers, mealmen, and meal factors, together with a number of wretched hucksters, are almost the only middle people that ... come between the grower and the consumer.

    Since then, trading in corn and other commodities has gained in respectability — thanks in part to arguments and evidence mustered by economists following in Smith's footsteps. But the suspicion that commodities trading is dominated by wretched hucksters or worse (I don't know what "mealmen" are, but they sure sound bad) has never gone away, with David Kocieniewski's epic examination in Sunday's New York Times of an aluminum storage business owned by Goldman Sachs offering the latest bit of evidence. Kocieniewski describes forklift drivers moving aluminum from warehouse to warehouse in Detroit to profit from rules set by an overseas metals exchange, while delivery times to actual users of aluminum have stretched to 16 months and aluminum prices have been pushed up by the equivalent of a tenth of a U.S. cent per aluminum can.

    The article is less clear about what brought this on. Is it bad rules set by the London Metal Exchange? The involvement of banks such as Goldman and J.P. Morgan in the metals trade? Or is the problem simply that speculators have taken over the market for a crucial commodity?

    It is certainly true that investors, dismayed at the prospect of low returns for stocks and bonds for years to come, have poured money into commodities over the past decade. Markets that existed mainly for the convenience of industry have become dominated by exchange-traded funds, hedge funds, and investment banks.

    By Adam Smith's reasoning, this shouldn't be a bad thing — people of character, or at least fortune, are getting into the trade. And the consensus among economists has for decades been that commodity speculation clearly serves a useful purpose — so more of it can't hurt, right?

    The evidence on this is, frustratingly, not nearly as conclusive as one might hope. The most famous studies have had to do with trading in onion futures, which the Chicago Mercantile Exchange launched in the 1940s and Congress banned in 1958 after a precipitous boom and bust. Agricultural economist Holbrook Working proposed at the time that this presented the opportunity for a natural experiment: if onion prices were more volatile in the absence of futures trading, then the trading probably served a useful economic purpose. If not, then maybe it didn't. The first post-ban study, published in 1963, did indeed find such an effect, and has since been cited widely by economists and editorialists. A 1973 followup, however, was inconclusive.

    When economist David S. Jacks of Simon Fraser University reviewed this evidence a few years ago along with before-and-after data from when futures trading in various commodities started, he still concluded that "futures markets are systematically associated with lower levels of commodity price volatility." So, on balance, having a futures market appears better than not having a futures market.

    What this doesn't tell us, however, is whether certain kinds of commodity futures and spot markets are better than others, or certain kinds of traders are better than others. There's at least some evidence from the great commodities boom of the past decade that the new dominance of financial investors has made a difference, and not necessarily for the better. Three recent research findings:

    None of these studies blamed speculation for causing all or even most of the price movements. It seems pretty clear that the big rise in oil prices since 2003 has been driven by fundamental forces of supply and demand. But the new commodities market participants may have made things worse, as Kocieniewski's aluminum findings seem to show.

    So what's the solution? I'm guessing it has something to do with adjusting the rules of the game. Commodities-trading rules and customs that date back to the pre-financial era may not fit the more aggressive tactics of hedge funds and investment banks. The London Metals Exchange is already in the midst of changing its warehousing rules, with hard-to-foresee consequences. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has started using new powers granted it under the Dodd-Frank Act to go after traders whose behavior it deems abusive. And in general, we're in the early stages of a long struggle to put the financial sector back in the position of servant of the economy rather than its master.

    Speculation is, on balance, a good thing. But more of it isn't necessarily always better — and it's too important to leave entirely in the hands of the wretched hucksters.

    "At Creighton U.’s Apple Store, Students (including accounting students) Will Run the Show," by Cory Weinberg, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 18, 2013 ---

    Indiana University Kelley School of B usiness Indianapolis invites applications for position s in Accounting beginning in August 201 3 or January 1, 2014 . Applications are encouraged for clinical and lecturer positions at all ranks. We anticipate filling at least one position.
    Kelly School of Business Indianapolis, Indiana University, July 2013 ---

    When Salaries Are Too Low to Fill Tenure Track Openings
    "Empty Lecterns," by Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, July 10, 2013 ---

    Jensen Comment
    The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point is featured in the article. Hasselback's Accounting Faculty Directory lists three PhD faculty in accounting, two of whom earned Ph.D. degrees from the University of Arkansas in the early 1990s. It would seem that this university is not likely to be competitive in terms of salary for newly graduated accounting Ph.D. students.

    A problem faced by a egalitarian salary constraint that does not recognize supply and demand differences between academic disciplines is that disciplines like accounting and finance and computer science where demand for Ph.D. faculty greatly exceeds supply is that those unionized universities find it difficult to compete in highly competitive markets for Ph.D. faculty. This is one of the reasons why large R1 research universities do not have unions for faculty. The want competitive salaries in all disciplines, especially in the professions like medicine, nursing, computer science, engineering, finance, and accountancy.

    Garbage Study Report:  A Questionable Beauty Contest
    Greece and nearly every other nation on the planet have a "more attractive" tax systems than the USA (Yeah right!) ---

    Abstract : This paper develops a new tax measure – the Tax Attractiveness Index – reflecting the attractiveness of a country’s tax environment and the tax planning opportunities that are offered . Specifically , the Tax Attractiveness Index covers 16 different components of real - world tax systems , such as the statutory tax rate, the taxation of dividends and capital gains, withholding taxes, the existence of a group taxation regime, loss off set provision, the double tax treaty network, thin capitalization rules, and controlled foreign company (CFC) rules. We develop methods to quantify each tax factor . The Tax Attractiveness Index is constructed for 100 countries over the 2005 to 2009 period. Regional clusters in the index as well as in the application of certain tax rules can be observed. The evaluation of individual countries based on the index corresponds – but is not totally identical – with the OECD’s ‘black’ respectively ‘grey’ list . By comparing the Tax Attractiveness Index with the statutory tax rate , we reveal that even high tax countries offer favorable tax conditions. Hence, the statutory tax rate is not a suitable proxy for a country’s tax climate in any case since countries may set other incentives to attract firms and investment.

    From the TaxProf Blog on July 11, 2013 --- http://taxprof.typepad.com/

    Lucy A. Marsh, a tenured law professor at Denver since 1982 who teaches Civil Procedure, Property, and Trusts & Estates (CV here), has filed an EEOC gender discimination complaint against the school charging that her $109,000 is the lowest at the school and well below the $149,000 median full professor salary.

    From the EEOC complaint:

    Professor Marsh believes that she and other female professors at the law school were discriminated against with respect to compensation because of their gender and were paid less than men performing substantially equal work under similar conditions in the same establishment.

    From the Denver Post:

    "What I hope comes out of this is not just fair compensation to professor Marsh and to fix the system, but hopefully there will be lessons learned that other universities, law schools and employers can look at and say, 'This is something that we can look at, to make sure the women are not paid less for equal work,'" said Jennifer Reisch, one of Marsh’s lawyers and legal director of Equal Rights Advocates, a national civil rights organization.


    Jensen Comment
    Students should be able to explain why Professor Marsh may have a better case than a full professor of elementary education whose salary is $101,000 (hypothetically) but not the lowest for all full professors in elementary education at DU ---

    Given that she obtained tenure in the DU Law School 31 years, Professor Marsh may have more of an age discrimination lawsuit, especially if some of the higher paid DU law faculty are women and/or minorities. She apparently thinks gender discrimination exists in the DI Law School. Her case is weakened if newly hired faculty women are given compensation packages comparable to those of males.

    Students should understand the pervasive problem of salary compression and inversion in the Academy ---
    My guess is that salary compression lawsuits are harder to win. Otherwise the courts would be clogged with salary compression lawsuits for nearly every college and university in the USA.

    Good Thing Apple is Sitting on a Mountain of Cash
    "Apple Found Guilty of E-Book Price Fixing," by Leila Meyer, T.H.E. Journal, July 10, 2013 ---

    A federal judge at the Southern District of New York court has found Apple guilty of violating United States antitrust laws and colluding with five book publishing companies to inflate e-book prices. The three-week trial concluded June 20, and the judge issued the ruling July 9. The tech giant plans to appeal.

    In a civil antitrust lawsuit, the U.S. Department of Justice claimed that in January 2010 Apple and five publishers entered an agency-model agreement, in which publishers, not retailers, set the price of e-books. The publishers agreed to set higher prices for bestsellers and new releases, resulting in a price increase from $9.99 to $12.99 and $14.99. As part of the agreement, which preceded Apple's entry into the e-book market with the launch of the iPad in April 2010, Apple received a 30 percent commission on each e-book sold and required publishers to match competitors' prices if they were lower. Because market-dominating Amazon sold e-books for $9.99, publishers began withholding some bestsellers from Amazon for a period of time after the release date.

    “Understanding that no one Publisher could risk acting alone in an attempt to take pricing power away from Amazon, Apple created a mechanism and environment that enabled them to act together in a matter of weeks to eliminate all retail price competition for their e-books,” wrote U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, in a 160-page ruling. "The evidence is overwhelming that Apple knew of the unlawful aims of the conspiracy and joined that conspiracy with the specific intent to help it succeed."

    The Justice Department initially sued Apple and five of the country's largest publishing companies: Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster. Only Apple proceeded to trial, while the publishers settled with the Department of Justice and agreed to pay more than $166 million combined.

    The Department of Justice may now seek injunctive relief, which could prevent Apple from using the agency business model to sell e-books for a two-year period and impose other requirements to prevent the company from skewing the e-book market in its favor.

    Because Apple was found guilty of violating U.S. antitrust laws, 33 state attorneys general will now take the company to trial to recover money on behalf of consumers who paid higher prices for e-books.

    Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates ---

    JOBS Act Skepticism Grows
    From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on July 10, 2013

    A key provision of the JOBS Act is set to move forward today. The SEC is expected to lift a decades-old ban on soliciting shares in hedge funds and other private placements—a move that could unleash a wave of ads touting these investments, write the WSJ’s Andrew Ackerman and Jessica Holzer. It also will mean big changes for companies selling unregistered securities, which have had to tiptoe around the rules on general-solicitation advertising.

    Hedge funds and others have argued that the ad ban makes it harder and more costly for business to raise private capital. But the easing of the ban comes before the SEC has finalized most of the protections that investor advocates say are critical to guarding against fraud—like standards for advertising investment performance.

    Meanwhile, there’s a growing belief among investment bankers that the law has fallen flat. Only 14% of bankers polled by BDO USA this week said they felt the JOBS Act is boosting the number of IPOs, CFOJ’s Emily Chasan reports. That’s half the level who said last winter that the law was having a positive impact, and down sharply from 55% who said so last year. “There has clearly not been double or triple the amount of IPOs,” said Wendy Hambleton, director of SEC services for BDO in Chicago.

    From the Global CPA Report on July 10, 2013

    CFOs are optimistic overall but hesitant to hire
    Optimism about the economy is on the rise, but companies continue to project low hiring and have reduced expectations for profit and sales, according to a quarterly Deloitte survey. North American chief financial officers cite public policy as a top impediment to growth.
    CGMA Magazine (6/28)

    "A Daviess County (Kentucky) accountant is facing theft and forgery charges ," by Kara Mattingly, Four News, July 10, 2013 ---

    Authorities say 51-year-old Dennis Keaton collected money from a client, and that money was supposed to be forwarded to the Kentucky Department of Revenue and the IRS. Keaton is accused of using the money for his own personal use. Investigators seized computers, documents, and other evidence associated with his accounting business. Keaton was taken to the Daviess County Detention Center under a $10,000 cash bond.

    Another Example of White Collar Crime Leniency
    If she stole $100 from a convenience store she probably would be in jail

    "Sioux City accountant gets probation," Souix City Journal, July 1, 2013 --- Click Here

    The owner of a Sioux City accounting firm was placed on probation Monday for taking more than $150,000 from a client who had dementia.

    Terry Lockie, 65, pleaded guilty in Woodbury County District Court to one count of dependent adult abuse. According to the terms of her plea agreement, a five-year prison sentence was suspended, and she was placed on probation for two years. A charge of first-degree theft was dismissed.

    Lockie, who lives in Homer, Neb., owns Terry Lockie & Associates, 704 Jackson St. She likely faces the loss of her certified public accountant license, her attorney, Keith Rigg, said during court proceedings.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on why white collar crime pays ---

    Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

    Seven Must-Read Stories (Week Ending July 19, 2013)
    Another chance to catch the most interesting, and important, articles from the previous week on MIT Technology Review

    1. Edit Wars Reveal The 10 Most Controversial Topics on Wikipedia
      An analysis of the most highly contested articles on Wikipedia reveals the controversies that appear invariant across languages and cultures.
    2. Forget Battery Swapping: Tesla Aims to Charge Electric Cars in Five Minutes
      Tesla Motors is pushing the limits of charging technology to make electric vehicles as practical as gas-powered cars.
    3. It’s Up to You, Entrepreneurs
      Startup scenes are popping up in cities all over the world. Brad Feld is part of the reason.
    4. Bill Gates: Software Assistants Could Help Solve Global Problems
      The founder of Microsoft says we have reached a “golden age” of computer science enabling more powerful assistant software.
    5. Finding Cancer Cells in the Blood
      Technologies that can pull tumor cells from patients’ blood are giving researchers an unprecedented look at cancer.
    6. A Manufacturing Tool Builds 3-D Heart Tissue
      A layer-by-layer fabrication tool lets researchers quickly form complicated biological tissue in three-dimensional space.
    7. Microsoft Has an Operating System for Your House
      Microsoft aims to simplify home automation with software that connects different Internet-enabled devices.

    From the Stanford Graduate School of Business
    Top 13 Business Books to Read This 2013 Summer --- Click Here

    Prisoner's Dilemma (Game Theory) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner%27s_dilemma

    "They Finally Tested The 'Prisoner's Dilemma' On Actual Prisoners — And The Results Were Not What You Would Expect ," by by Max Nissan, Business Insider, July 21, 2013 ---

    The "prisoner's dilemma" is a familiar concept to just about everyone who took Econ 101.

    The basic version goes like this: Two criminals are arrested, but police can't convict either on the primary charge, so they plan to sentence them to a year in jail on a lesser charge. Each of the prisoners, who can't communicate with each other, are given the option of testifying against their partner. If they testify, and their partner remains silent, the partner gets three years and they go free. If they both testify, both get two. If both remain silent, they each get one.

    In game theory, betraying your partner, or "defecting" is always the dominant strategy as it always has a slightly higher payoff in a simultaneous game. It's what's known as a "Nash Equilibrium," after Nobel Prize winning mathematician and "A Beautiful Mind" subject John Nash.

     In sequential games, where players know each other's previous behavior and have the opportunity to punish each other, defection is the dominant strategy as well. 

    However, on an overall basis, the best outcome for both players is mutual cooperation.

    Yet no one's ever actually run the experiment on real prisoners before, until two University of Hamburg economists tried it out in a recent study comparing the behavior of inmates and students. 

    Surprisingly, for the classic version of the game, prisoners were far more cooperative  than expected.

    Menusch Khadjavi and Andreas Lange put the famous game to the test for the first time ever, putting a group of prisoners in Lower Saxony's primary women's prison, as well as students, through both simultaneous and sequential versions of the game. 

    The payoffs obviously weren't years off sentences, but euros for students, and the equivalent value in coffee or cigarettes for prisoners. 

    They expected, building off of game theory and behavioral economic research that show humans are more cooperative than the purely rational model that economists traditionally use, that there would be a fair amount of first-mover cooperation, even in the simultaneous simulation where there's no way to react to the other player's decisions. 

    And even in the sequential game, where you get a higher payoff for betraying a cooperative first mover, a fair amount will still reciprocate. 

    As for the difference between student and prisoner behavior, you'd expect that a prison population might be more jaded and distrustful, and therefore more likely to defect. 

    The results went exactly the other way for the simultaneous game, only 37% of students cooperate. Inmates cooperated 56% of the time.

    On a pair basis, only 13% of student pairs managed to get the best mutual outcome and cooperate, whereas 30% of prisoners do. 

    In the sequential game, far more students (63%) cooperate, so the mutual cooperation rate skyrockets to 39%. For prisoners, it remains about the same.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    In real life there's a huge difference between a sentence of life without parole and three or more years in prison where the prisoner will be set free soon enough to extract revenge on a song bird. Thus in real life the revenge risk must be factored into the payoff. The risk may come from the person serving the longest sentence or from a gang waiting for song birds to be set free.

    "Game Theory Versus Practice:  More companies are using game theory to aid decision-making. How well does it work in the real world?" by Alan Rappeport, CFO Magazine, July 15, 2008 --- http://www.cfo.com/article.cfm/11700044?f=search

    When Microsoft announced its intention to acquire Yahoo last February, the software giant knew the struggling search firm would not come easily into the fold. But Microsoft had anticipated the eventual minuet of offer and counteroffer five months before its announcement, thanks to the powers of game theory.

    A mathematical method of analyzing game-playing strategies, game theory is catching on with corporate planners, enabling them to test their moves against the possible responses of their competitors. Its origins trace as far back as The Art of War, the unlikely management best-seller penned 2,500 years ago by the Chinese general Sun Tzu. Mathematicians John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern adapted the method for economics in the 1940s, and game theory entered the academic mainstream in the 1970s, when economists like Thomas Schelling and Robert Aumann used it to study adverse selection and problems of asymmetric information. (Schelling and Aumann won Nobel prizes in 2005 for their work.)

    Game theory can take many forms, but most companies use a simplified version that focuses executives on the mind-set of the competition. "The formal stuff quickly becomes very technical and less useful," says Louis Thomas, a professor at the Wharton School of Business who teaches game theory. "It's a matter of peeling it back to its bare essentials." One popular way to teach the theory hinges on a situation called the "prisoner's dilemma," where the fate of two detainees depends on whether each snitches or stays silent about an alleged crime (see "To Squeal or Not to Squeal?" at the end of this article).

    Many companies are reluctant to talk about the specifics of how they use game theory, or even to admit whether they use it at all. But oil giant Chevron makes no bones about it. "Game theory is our secret strategic weapon," says Frank Koch, a Chevron decision analyst. Koch has publicly discussed Chevron's use of game theory to predict how foreign governments and competitors will react when the company embarks on international projects. "It reveals the win-win and gives you the ability to more easily play out where things might lead," he says.

    Enter the Matrix Microsoft's interest in game theory was piqued by the disclosure that IBM was using the method to better understand the motivations of its competitors — including Microsoft — when Linux, the open-source computer operating system, began to catch on. (Consultants note that companies often bone up on game theory when they find out that competitors are already using it.)

    For its Yahoo bid, Microsoft hired Open Options, a consultancy, to model the merger and plot a possible course for the transaction. Yahoo's trepidation became clear from the outset. "We knew that they would not be particularly interested in the acquisition," says Ken Headrick, product and marketing director of Microsoft's Canadian online division, MSN. And, indeed, they weren't; the bid ultimately failed and a subsequent partial acquisition offer was abandoned in June.

    Open Options wouldn't disclose specifics of its work for Microsoft, but in client workshops it asks attendees to answer detailed questions about their goals for a project — for example, "Should we enter this market?" "Will we need to eat costs to establish market share?" "Will a price war ensue?" Then, assumptions about the motives of other players, such as competitors and government regulators, are ranked and different scenarios developed. The goals of all players are given numerical values and charted on a matrix. The exercise is intended to show that there are more outcomes to a situation than most minds can comprehend, and to get managers thinking about competition and customers differently.

    "If you have four or five players, with four actions each might or might not take, that could lead to a million outcomes," comments Tom Mitchell, CEO of Open Options. "And that's a simple situation." To simplify complex playing fields, Open Options uses algorithms to model what action a company should take — considering the likely actions of others — to attain its goals. The result replicates the so-called Nash equilibrium, first proposed by John Forbes Nash, the Nobel prize–winning mathematician portrayed in the movie A Beautiful Mind. In this optimal state, the theory goes, a player no longer has an incentive to change his position.

    As a tool, game theory can be useful in many areas of finance, particularly when decisions require both economic and strategic considerations. "CFOs welcome this because it takes into account financial inputs and blends them with nonfinancial inputs," says Mitchell.

    Rational to a Fault? Some experts, however, question game theory's usefulness in the real world. They say the theory is at odds with human nature, because it assumes that all participants in a game will behave rationally. But as research in behavioral finance and economics has shown, common psychological biases can easily produce irrational decisions.

    Similarly, John Horn, a consultant at McKinsey, argues that game theory gives people too much credit. "Game theory assumes rationally maximizing competitors, who understand everything that you're doing and what they can do," says Horn. "That's not how people actually behave." (Activist investor Carl Icahn said Yahoo's board "acted irrationally" in rejecting Microsoft's bid.) McKinsey's latest survey on competitive behavior found that companies tend to neglect upcoming moves by competitors, relying passively on sources such as the news and annual reports. And when they learn of new threats, they tend to react in the most obvious way, focusing on near-term metrics such as earnings and market share.

    Continued in article

    "What use is game theory?" by Steve Hsu, Information Processing, May 4, 2011 ---

    Fantastic interview with game theorist Ariel Rubinstein on Econtalk. I agree with Rubinstein that game theory has little predictive power in the real world, despite the pretty mathematics. Experiments at RAND (see, e.g., Mirowski's Machine Dreams) showed early game theorists, including Nash, that people don't conform to the idealizations in their models. But this wasn't emphasized (Mirowski would claim it was deliberately hushed up) until more and more experiments showed similar results. (Who woulda thought -- people are "irrational"! :-)

    Perhaps the most useful thing about game theory is that it requires you to think carefully about decision problems. The discipline of this kind of analysis is valuable, even if the models have limited applicability to real situations.

    Rubinstein discusses a number of topics, including raw intelligence vs psychological insight and its importance in economics
    (see also here). He has, in my opinion, a very developed and mature view of what social scientists actually do, as opposed to what they claim to do.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on analytics can be found at

    Bob Jensen's threads on game theory ---

    Henry Rollins: Education is the Cure to “Disaster Capitalism” ---

    If there is an overabundance of physicians (e.g., three on every floor of every apartment house as suggested by Rollins), what's the incentive for top students to spend 20-25 years becoming physicians? Presumably society has to reward those years of tension, sweat, and sleepless nights with some incentives. The Soviet Union used to hand out lots of medals, but the physicians in practice that were in short supply weren't very good.

    And we can reward musicians the same as physicians even if they compose music that nobody cares to hear.

    There really are economic efficiencies of the "invisible hand" even if progressives want to call capitalism a "disaster."

    "Douglas Engelbart’s Unfinished Revolution:  Computing pioneer Doug Engelbart’s inventions transformed computing, but he intended them to transform humans," By Howard Rheingold, MIT's Technology Review, July 23, 2013 --- Click Here

    "This German Woman Has Been Living Without Money For 16 Years," by Mandi Woodruff, Business Insider, July 18, 2013 ---

    "The Weird Story Of How The Tom Collins Cocktail Got Its Name," by Megan Willett, Business Insider, July 17, 2013 ---

    Free Comic Books Turns Kids Onto Physics: Start With the Adventures of Nikola Tesla ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment ---

    Sometimes it takes a long time to reach a breakeven point
    From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on July 10, 2013

    GM CFO aims to break even in Europe by mid-decade.
    General Motors CFO Daniel Ammann believes his company can break even in Europe by mid-decade, which would end a losing streak that dates back to the last century. “We have better momentum and progress in the business there than at any time over the last couple of years,” Mr. Ammann
    told the Detroit Free Press’s Nathan Bomey.  But he acknowledged that the European auto sales outlook is “not recovering” yet. “We haven’t seen any tangible signs of any meaningful improvement at this point.

    "From VHS To Google Glass, Porn Drives The Tech Market," by Michael Moran, Business Insider, July 11, 2013 ---

    Jensen Comment
    It's back to school for you if you thought social media drives the tech/tack market.

    Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherwood_Anderson

    Sherwood Anderson is one of my favorite authors. I've read and re-read almost all his works.

    "How to Quit Your Job Like Sherwood Anderson: The Best Resignation Letter Ever Written." by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, July 25, 2013 ---

    Jensen Comment
    If you're tenured and want to quit, don't send such a letter unconditionally. Agree to send a resignation letter only if tenure buyout terms are negotiated. Of course, some tenured professors who desperately want out will sell out for a dime.

    Forwarded by Paula
    I did not attempt to verify any of these alleged "facts"

     More than half of the coastline of the entire United States is in Alaska .

    The Amazon rainforest produces more than 20% of the world's oxygen supply.The Amazon River pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that, more than one hundred miles at sea off the mouth of the river, one can dip fresh water out of the ocean. The volume of water in the Amazon river is greater than the next eight largest rivers in the world combined and three times the flow of all rivers in the United States .

    Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country. Ninety percent of the world's ice covers Antarctica . This ice also represents seventy percent of all the fresh water in the world. As strange as it sounds, however, Antarctica is essentially a desert; The average yearly total precipitation is about two inches. Although covered with ice (all but 0.4% of it, ice.), Antarctica is the driest place on the planet, With an absolute humidity lower than the Gobi desert.

     Brazil got its name from the nut, not the other way around.

     Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. Canada is an Indian word meaning ' Big Village '.

     Next to Warsaw , Chicago has the largest Polish population in the world.

     Woodward Avenue in Detroit , Michigan , carries the designation M-1. So named because it was the first paved road anywhere.

    Damascus, Syria
     Damascus, Syria, was flourishing a couple of thousand years before Rome was founded in 753 BC making it the oldest continuously inhabited city in existence.

    Istanbul, Turkey
    | Istanbul, Turkey, is the only city in the world located on two continents. Los Angeles The full name of Los Angeles is: El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula -- and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size: L.A.

    New York City
     The term 'The Big Apple' was coined by touring jazz musicians of the 1930s who used the slang expression 'apple' for any town or city. Therefore, to play New York City is to play the big time - The Big Apple.

    There are more Irish in New York City than in Dublin , Ireland ; more Italians in New York City than in Rome , Italy ; And more Jews in New York City than in Tel Aviv , Israel .

     There are no natural lakes in the state of Ohio . . . every one is man-made.
    (Jensen comment:  I heard this previously about Oklahoma but not Ohio)

    Pitcairn Island
     The smallest island with country status is Pitcairn in Polynesia , at just 1.75 sq. miles/4,53 sq. Km.

     The first city to reach a population of 1 million people was Rome , Italy (in 133 B.C.) There is a city called Rome on every continent.

    Siberia contains more than 25% of the world's forests.

    The actual smallest sovereign entity in the world is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (S.M.O.M). It is located in the city of Rome , Italy , and has an area of two tennis courts. And, as of 2001, has a population of 80 -- 20 less people than the Vatican . It is a sovereign entity under international law, just as the Vatican is.

    Sahara Desert
     In the Sahara Desert , there is a town named Tidikelt , Algeria , that did not receive a drop of rain for ten years. Technically, though, the driest place on Earth is in the valleys of the Antarctic near Ross Island . There has been no rainfall there for two million years.

     Spain literally means 'the land of rabbits'.

    St. Paul, Minnesota
     St. Paul, Minnesota, was originally called Pig's Eye after a man named Pierre 'Pig's Eye' Parrant who set up the first business there.

    Roads Chances that a road is unpaved: in the U.S.A = 1%; in Canada = 75%

    The deepest hole ever drilled by man is the Kola Superdeep Borehole, in Russia . It reached a depth of 12,261 meters (about 40,226 feet or 7.62 miles.) It was drilled for scientific research and gave up some unexpected discoveries, one of which was a huge deposit of hydrogen - so massive that the mud coming from the hole was boiling with it.

    United States
    The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies.

    The water of Angel Falls (the world's highest) in Venezuela drops 3,212 feet (979 meters.) They are 15 times higher than Niagara Falls .

    I have always said, you should learn something new every day. Unfortunately, many of us are at that age where what we learn today, we forget tomorrow. But, give it a shot anyway

    From the Scout Report on July 12, 2013

    Padlet --- http://padlet.com/ 

    Are you looking for a blank wall? This online application can give you that blank wall for your own personal entertainment, edification, and general bemusement. Padlet offers visitors the opportunity to drag and drop just about anything onto a virtual wall, and share that wall with others while additions, deletions, or changes are tracked in real-time. Additionally, users can embed their wall on a blog or website and create their own background. This version is compatible with all operating systems.

    Electric Slide --- http://www.electricslide.net/ 

    To some the electric slide may just be a novelty dance. Astute readers of technology blogs will know that this Electric Slide happens to be a application that allows visitors to wirelessly present their PowerPoint slides, documents, and videos using just their iPhone or iPad. First-time visitors can watch an instructional video and then go ahead and get started. The Features area contains details on the operations of the program and the Help section offers up some useful suggestions. This version is compatible with all operating systems running iOS 5.1.1 and newer.

    After a major oil train explosion, Canada begins to ask tough questions
    Fatal train wreck fuels debate over oil transport

    After Quebec explosion, oil transport by rail leaves questions

    Safety rules lag as oil transport by train rises

    Ten years of highs and lows for Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway

    Transportation Safety Board of Canada

    The Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway Railway, Inc.

    From the Scout Report on July 19, 2013

    Tweegram --- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.natrobit.tweegram 

    Have you ever wanted to share text messages with friends and others on social networks? Tweegram makes this possible and visitors can customize their messages with images and other bells and whistles. The site includes an FAQ area and visitors will need to be running Android 2.2 and newer on their device.

    Share My Screen Pro ---  http://www.share-my-screen-pro.com/ 

    If you work with people all over the country or the world, it can be hard to share information and visuals quickly. Share My Screen Pro allows users to do just that, complete with two way audio and instant messaging. Visitors can watch a short video here to get oriented and after that, it's rather easy to get started with the program. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 2000 and newer as well as iOS and Android phones.

    London's sewers, symbol of Victorian engineering prowess, remain a key
    part of the city's infrastructure
    London's sewers: subterranean dreams

    In London's Sewers: Less Pollution and A Smelly Form of Energy

    Below the waste line: Inside London's sewer system

    History of London: Sir Joseph Bazalgette and London's Sewers

    London Sewers & London's Main Drainage

    John Snow



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

    Education Tutorials

    Strategies for Effective Teaching: A Handbook for Teaching Assistants --- http://www.engr.wisc.edu/services/elc/strategies.pdf

    What Do I Do Now? Laboratory Tales From Teaching Assistants ---

    USGS Science Resources for Undergraduate Education

    Team Nutrition: Educator Resources --- http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/educators.html

    Base-Sixteen: Resources for teaching and learning computer science --- http://cse4k12.appspot.com/

    Computer Science for Dummies
    Computer Science Unplugged --- http://www.youtube.com/csunplugged

    Computer Science Teachers Association --- http://csta.acm.org/Resources/sub/HighlightedResources.html

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

    University of Georgia Cooperative Extension --- http://extension.uga.edu/about/services/teachers.cfm

    Bob Jensen's bookmarks for multiple disciplines ---

    Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

    Common Physics Misconceptions --- http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2013/07/common-physics-misconceptions/

    Free Comic Books Turns Kids Onto Physics: Start With the Adventures of Nikola Tesla ---

    Science 360 News Service --- http://news.science360.gov/files/

    Neil deGrasse Tyson Unveils a Dazzling Preview of the New Cosmos ---

    Methods in Biostatistics I ---

    Ohio Journal of Science --- http://kb.osu.edu/dspace/handle/1811/686

    Gene You: Genetics and Inheritance ---

    Genetics Selection Evolution --- http://www.gsejournal.org/

    Learn Genetics: Variation, Selection & Time --- http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/variation/

    The Field Museum: Insects, Arachnids and Myriapods Collections ---

    Singing Insects of North America --- http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/walker/buzz/

    Insects --- http://www.insects.org/

    Video:  The billion-insect highway in the sky --- Click Here

    NOVA: Journey of the Butterflies --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/journey-butterflies.html

    From the Scout Report on August 17, 2012

    New findings point to more interesting wrinkles in the story of human
    Human evolution: Ask the family --- http://www.economist.com/node/21560237

    Fossils complicate human ancestor search

    Questions over human and Neanderthal interbreeding

    Neanderthal sex debate highlights benefits of pre-publication

    Introduction to Human Evolution --- http://humanorigins.si.edu/resources/intro-human-evolution

    Becoming Human --- http://www.becominghuman.org/

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

    Cytogenetics Gallery --- http://www.pathology.washington.edu/galleries/Cytogallery/

    Learn Genetics: Variation, Selection & Time --- http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/variation/

    Cell Biology Online Videos --- http://ibioseminars.hhmi.org/lectures/cell-bio-a-med.html

    Cell Biology Education Resources --- http://www.ascb.org/ivl/design/education.html

    USGS Science Resources for Undergraduate Education

    University of Georgia Cooperative Extension --- http://extension.uga.edu/about/services/teachers.cfm

    Tom Lehrer's "The Elements" animated  ---

    The Periodic Table of Videos --- http://www.periodicvideos.com/ 

    Interactives: The Periodic Table --- http://www.learner.org/interactives/periodic/index.html

    Animated Periodic Table of the Elements --- 
    http://www.animatedsoftware.com/elearning/Periodic Table/AnimatedPeriodicTable.swf

    The Sourcebook for Teaching Science: Periodic Tables --- http://www.csun.edu/science/chemistry/periodic_table/

    Science Friday --- http://www.sciencefriday.com/ 

    American Geosciences Institute Education: Earth Sciences --- http://www.agiweb.org/geoeducation.html

    Earth Science World Image Bank ---  http://www.earthscienceworld.org/imagebank/index.html

    Interactive Lectures (earth science_ --- http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/interactive

    AP Environmental Science Online Course

    Down to Earth: Herblock and Photographers Observe the Environment --- 

    USGS: California Water Science Center --- http://ca.water.usgs.gov/

    Base-Sixteen: Resources for teaching and learning computer science --- http://cse4k12.appspot.com/

    Computer Science for Dummies
    Computer Science Unplugged --- http://www.youtube.com/csunplugged

    Computer Science Teachers Association --- http://csta.acm.org/Resources/sub/HighlightedResources.html

    Team Nutrition: Educator Resources --- http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/educators.html

    Circulating Now (history of medicine) --- http://circulatingnow.nlm.nih.gov/

    Hidden Treasure: The National Library of Medicine ---

    Julia Morgan: An Online Exhibition (architecture history) ---  http://lib.calpoly.edu/specialcollections/architecture/juliamorgan/

    Victoria and Albert Museum Teachers' Resource: Architecture ---

    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

    Science 360 News Service --- http://news.science360.gov/files/

    Federal Reserve Bank of New York: Data and Indicators --- http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/data_indicators/

    National Center for Education Statistics --- http://nces.ed.gov/

    Jane Addams Hull House (University of Illinois at Chicago) --- http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/hull_house.html
    Jane Addams, the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Atlas of Urban Expansion --- http://www.lincolninst.edu/subcenters/atlas-urban-expansion/

    UrbanLand --- http://urbanland.uli.org/

    Transforming Cities With Transit --- 

    Urban Intervention --- http://thenextfifty.org/urbanintervention/

    American Planning Association: Blogs --- http://www.planning.org/multimedia/blogs/

    September 11 Television Archive --- http://archive.org/details/sept_11_tv_archive

    The Chicago Reporter --- http://www.chicagoreporter.com/

    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

    Methods in Biostatistics I ---

    Base-Sixteen: Resources for teaching and learning computer science --- http://cse4k12.appspot.com/

    Computer Science Teachers Association --- http://csta.acm.org/Resources/sub/HighlightedResources.html

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

    History Tutorials

    History of Paperless --- http://www.wimp.com/theinternet/

    Read Fanny Hill, the 18th-Century Erotic Novel That Went to the Supreme Court in the 20th Century ---

    74 Free Banned Books ---

    Henry Rollins: Education is the Cure to “Disaster Capitalism” ---

    Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Times on Film --- http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/troosevelt_film/

    Theodore Roosevelt Collection --- http://www.bartleby.com/people/RsvltT.html

    Chicago, 1900-1914 --- http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/collections/maps/chi1900/

    Folger Shakespeare Library Online Resources for Teachers --- http://www.folger.edu/template.cfm?cid=618

    82nd & Fifth --- http://82nd-and-fifth.metmuseum.org/
    100 Works of Art That Changed the World

    United States Holocaust Museum: Some Were Neighbors --- http://somewereneighbors.ushmm.org/#/exhibitions/friends/un2649

    Chicago History Museum: Flickr --- http://www.flickr.com/groups/chicagohistory/pool/with/7938537088/

    The Richard H. Driehaus Museum (Chicago History) --- http://www.driehausmuseum.org/

    Images from University of Illinois at Chicago Library Collections (photograph archive) ---

    Julia Morgan: An Online Exhibition (architecture history) ---  http://lib.calpoly.edu/specialcollections/architecture/juliamorgan/

    Jane Addams Hull House (University of Illinois at Chicago) --- http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/hull_house.html
    Jane Addams, the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Circulating Now (history of medicine) --- http://circulatingnow.nlm.nih.gov/

    Hidden Treasure: The National Library of Medicine ---

    Gertrude Stein Sends a “Review” of The Great Gatsby to F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925) ---

    The Sacred Heart Review ---

    The Wabash Center Guide to Internet Resources for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion http://www.wabashcenter.wabash.edu/Internet/front.htm

    Post (art and literature) --- http://post.at.moma.org/

    September 11 Television Archive --- http://archive.org/details/sept_11_tv_archive

    Make History: National September 11 Memorial & Museum --- http://makehistory.national911memorial.org/ 

    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  

    Language Tutorials

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

    Music Tutorials

    The Making of a Steinway Grand Piano, From Start to Finish ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

    Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

    Writing Tutorials

    The Writing Life of Joyce Carol Oates ---

    Post (art and literature) --- http://post.at.moma.org/

    Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries

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

    July 10, 2013

    July 11, 2013

    July 12, 2013

    July 13, 2013

    July 18, 2013

    July 19, 2013

    July 20, 2013

    July 24, 2013

    July 26, 2013

    July 25, 2013

    July 26, 2013

    July 27, 2013

    July 29, 2013



    Go Figure!
    Cities Where the Most People Have Heart Attacks --- Click Here

    Team Nutrition: Educator Resources --- http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/educators.html

    "The Search for the Best Depression Treatment:  Brain scans, blood samples, and other diagnostic tests could one day direct doctors to the best treatments for depression patients and uncover the biological basis of the condition." by Susan Young, MIT's Technology Review, July 22, 2013 ---

    Acid reflux drug may cause heart disease ---

    Clinically used proton pump inhibitors:


    "California Unveils Health Plans to Mixed Reactions," by Kathleen Doheny, WebMD, July 10, 2013 ---

    Howard Dean, a physician, is the former Governor of Vermont and Chairman of the Democratic Party who launched an unsuccessful campaign to become President of the United States --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Dean

    In the earlier parts of the article he chastises Republicans and some Democrats who want to derail the Affordable Healthcare Act at this late stage. Then he explains a part of the Affordable Healthcare Act that truly needs amending.

    "The Affordable Care Act's Rate-Setting Won't Work:  Experience tells me the Independent Payment Advisory Board will fail," by Howard Dean. The Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2013 ---

    . . .

    That said, the law still has its flaws, and American lawmakers and citizens have both an opportunity and responsibility to fix them.

    One major problem is the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body. By setting doctor reimbursement rates for Medicare and determining which procedures and drugs will be covered and at what price, the IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them.

    There does have to be control of costs in our health-care system. However, rate setting—the essential mechanism of the IPAB—has a 40-year track record of failure. What ends up happening in these schemes (which many states including my home state of Vermont have implemented with virtually no long-term effect on costs) is that patients and physicians get aggravated because bureaucrats in either the private or public sector are making medical decisions without knowing the patients. Most important, once again, these kinds of schemes do not control costs. The medical system simply becomes more bureaucratic.

    The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has indicated that the IPAB, in its current form, won't save a single dime before 2021. As everyone in Washington knows, but less frequently admits, CBO projections of any kind—past five years or so—are really just speculation. I believe the IPAB will never control costs based on the long record of previous attempts in many of the states, including my own state of Vermont.

    If Medicare is to have a secure future, we have to move away from fee-for-service medicine, which is all about incentives to spend more, and has no incentives in the system to keep patients healthy. The IPAB has no possibility of helping to solve this major problem and will almost certainly make the system more bureaucratic and therefore drive up administrative costs.

    To date, 22 Democrats have joined Republicans in the House and Senate in support of legislation to do away with the IPAB. Yet because of the extraordinary partisanship on Capitol Hill and Republican threats to defund the law through the appropriations process, it is unlikely that any change in the Affordable Care Act will take place soon.

    The IPAB will cause frustration to providers and patients alike, and it will fail to control costs. When, and if, the atmosphere on Capitol Hill improves and leadership becomes interested again in addressing real problems instead of posturing, getting rid of the IPAB is something Democrats and Republicans ought to agree on.

    Mr. Dean, governor of Vermont from 1991 to 2002 and a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is a strategic adviser to McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP.

    Bob Jensen's threads on health care ---


    A Bit of Humor

    "Bob Mankoff picks his 11 favorite New Yorker cartoons ever," by Helen Walters, TED, June 26, 2013 ---

    Jensen Comment
    Mankoff missed my favorite cartoon. It shows the CEO standing in front of a chart that shows profits crashing into negative territory. The CEO then turns to a wimpy chief accountant and declares:

    "Digbe, this company will not survive unless you can come up with an accounting miracle."

    Seems like Enron, Worldcom, and Lehman Brothers turned to their accountants who suggest such "miracles" as SPE creative accounting (Enron accountants), capitalizing expenses (Worldcom accountants) and repo sales gimmicks (Lehman Bros. accountants). In these instances the miracles flopped.


    Some Harvard Business Review Cartoons ---

    Current New Yorker Cartoons ---

    For virtually every product available for sale on Amazon.com, former buyers are asked to review the product. Most reviews are published on the same page as the product description. I seldom find glowing reviews helpful, because I'm suspicious that vendors plant such reviews. However, the negative reviews are often very informative and occasionally even humorous ---

    "Modern Masterpieces of Comedic Genius: The Art of the Humorous Amazon Review," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, May 20, 2013 ---


    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.

    Jim Counts CPA.CITP CTFA
    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