The program currently has seven
campuses worldwide in Oak Brook,
Illinois; Tokyo, London, Sydney,
Munich, São Paulo, and Shanghai,
with an eighth campus scheduled to
open in Moscow later this year.
Founded in 1961, Hamburger
University now has more than 275,000
graduates and will celebrate its
55th anniversary next year. Here's a
look at how it started and how it's
The phrase "harder to get into than Harvard" is an example of misleading
statistics based upon acceptance/rejection rates. My guess is that if more
students going to Harvard had applied to Hamburger University they would have a
higher probability of acceptance than vice versa. Ivy League schools
would have much higher rejection rates if more high SAT students bothered to
apply. Many of these desirable students don't even apply because of tuition
costs, distance from home, and most importantly the fact that they think the
odds of rejection are so high they don't even bother to apply.
As with any game, including those in a casino, the probabilities are based on
repeated playing of a game. The math may improve your odds of winning a single
play, but the probabilities apply less to a single play than repeated play just
like the odds of a "Head" on only one flip of a fair coin toss.
Of course in repeated plays in a casino you're even less likely to win due to
the cut taken by the house. The only way you could win in a casino is if you
were very, very wealthy and the house did not have limits on the size of the
This is nicely presented in a table that lets you compare how rankings differ
under the component criteria. For example, the Booth Business School at the
University of Chicago comes in at an overall Rank 2. It 's Number 1 in terms of
employer ranking and in job placement. However, it came in at Rank 29 in terms
of the alumni survey. Stanford is at Rank 1 in terms of alumni but is Rank 21 in
terms of job placement.
BEFORE the semester began earlier this fall, I went to check
out the classroom where I would be teaching an introductory American history
course. Like most classrooms at my university, this one featured lots of
helpful gadgets: a computer console linked to an audiovisual system, a
projector screen that deploys at the touch of a button and USB ports galore.
But one thing was missing. The piece of technology that I really needed is
centuries old: a simple wooden lectern to hold my lecture notes. I managed
to obtain one, but it took a week of emails and phone calls.
This is a article is more subjective thinking than scholarly. It overlooks the
fact that there are widely varying circumstances in the synchronous-learning
lecture pedagogy. Much depends upon the course, the use of visual aids,
existence of video playback, quality of the recitation sections and on and on
and on. Much depends on the aptitudes and motivations of the students. Large
lectures are typically given in introductory courses for economic reasons where
students instead need more individual attention the most.
The most obvious drawback of learning in a
lecture is that students learning at different paces get out of synch with the
lecture pace. A great deal depends upon how understanding earlier parts of the
lecture depend heavily on learning later on such as in a math lecture where if
you don't follow early on you get hopelessly lost later on in the lecture. This
is where video playback becomes essential where students can replay the lectures
and learn at their own paces.
For the good students countless studies show
that pedagogy does not matter much for motivated students who learn the material
most any way it is presented. Pedagogy matters more of the low motivation
students, and the lecture pedagogy is probably the worst pedagogy for these
There are, however, many studies that show
how an asychronous (non-lecture) pedagogy is more efficient for both high and
low motivated students ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm I don't think Mary Worthen did a scholarly investigation of those studies.
An associate professor of
mathematics at California State University at Fullerton is fighting the
institution’s decision to discipline him for not assigning a textbook that
was co-authored by his department chair. The Orange County Register reports
that Alain Bourget was reprimanded last year after opting not to use the
$180 textbook, against department policies.
Differential Equations and
Linear Algebra, which was written by the math department’s chair and vice
chair, has been used to teach the university’s “Introduction to Linear
Algebra and Differential Equations” course for a quarter-century, according
to the newspaper.
But Mr. Bourget says he
doesn’t like the textbook, and would “feel completely dishonest trying to
sell a book I don’t believe in.”
Continued in article
No mention is made about the ethics of a Department Chair to collect royalties
from such a policy of forcing all students in these courses to by his or her
textbook. Some faculty authors turn back these royalties to the students who buy
new copies of the book. Others donate their royalties to the college, but this
raises questions about the ethics of forcing students to essentially donate more
money to the institutions.
Some institutions discourage adoption of
local-faculty textbooks in enormous courses such as principles of accounting
courses having over 1,000 students per semester. I know of one instance where
this led to a cozy relationship between competing accounting textbook
author/department heads in two huge universities. Essentially the arrangement
between the department heads was that 'I'll adopt yours if you adopt mine."
definition there are no admission standards to take a MOOC and admission is
free, although fees may be charged for recognition (badges, completion
credentials, or college credits) that have added academic standards. In general,
MOOCs are video windows into advanced courses filmed live across the curriculum
at prestigious universities. Although some universities provide MOOCs for
introductory courses (undergraduate or graduate) MOOCs are not well suited to
introductory students who need more hand holding and personalized supervision
that are seldom, if ever, available in a MOOC taken by a "massive" number of
students. At the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania
introductory courses in the first-year MBA core can be taken for free as MOOCs.
Students who are planning to go into MBA programs around the world often take
these MOOCs in preparation when they will later be taking similar courses in
accounting, finance, management, marketing, etc. for credit.
Whereas the Wharton Business School offers core MBA courses as MOOCs, other
programs have distance education courses that are not
MOOCs because of fees and admission standards. For example, the Harvard
Business School has an extension program for pre-MBA courses that are relatively
expensive and capped regarding course size with competitive admission standards.
Bob Jensen's threads on these and other free-based distance education courses
When one of the first
massive open online courses appeared at Stanford University, 160,000
students enrolled. It was 2011, and fewer than 10 MOOCs existed worldwide.
It has been four years since
then, and according to a new report, the cumulative number of MOOCs has
reached nearly 4,000.
Compiled earlier this month
by Dhawal Shah, founder of the MOOC aggregator Class Central, the report
summarizes data on MOOCs from the past four years. And the data show that
even as the MOOC hype has started to die down, interest hasn’t tapered off.
The cumulative number of
MOOCs didn’t break 100 until the end of 2012. But by the end of 2013 that
number had grown to over 800. And today the number of registered MOOC
students added in 2015 is nearly equal to the last three years combined.
Continued in article
Note the graph showing that the cumulative number of MOOCs to date is nearly
4,000 course, most of which are courses from prestigious universities like
MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Penn, Rice, etc. Although MOOCs are free by
definition they cannot usually be taken for transcript credit unless a fee
is paid for competency-based testing. The two largest credit providers are
Coursera and EdX. One of the more noted MOOCs available is from Arizona
State University where the entire first year of courses can be taken for
Noncredit credentials (badges) for a fee are
also available for most MOOCs that demonstrate completion of a MOOC and
sometimes a level of competency that might be recognized by employers even
though they do not qualify for transcript college credit.
Massive open online courses,
or MOOCs, are popular. This much we know.
But as investors and higher
ed prognosticators squint into their crystal balls for hints of what this
popularity could portend for the rest of higher education, two crucial
questions remains largely unanswered: Who are these students, and what do
Some early inquiries into
this by two major MOOC providers offer a few hints.
Coursera, a company started
by two Stanford University professors, originated with a course called
Machine Learning, which co-founder Andrew Ng taught last fall to a virtual
classroom of 104,000 students. Coursera surveyed a sample of those students
to find out, among other things, their education and work backgrounds and
why they decided to take the course.
Among 14,045 students in the
Machine Learning course who responded to a demographic survey, half were
professionals who currently held jobs in the tech industry. The largest
chunk, 41 percent, said they were professionals currently working in the
software industry; another 9 percent said they were professionals working in
non-software areas of the computing and information technology industries.
Many were enrolled in some
kind of traditional postsecondary education. Nearly 20 percent were graduate
students, and another 11.6 percent were undergraduates. The remaining
registrants were either unemployed (3.5 percent), employed somewhere other
than the tech industry (2.5 percent), enrolled in a K-12 school (1 percent),
or “other” (11.5 percent).
A subset (11,686
registrants) also answered a question about why they chose to take the
course. The most common response, given by 39 percent of the respondents,
was that they were “just curious about the topic.” Another 30.5 percent said
they wanted to “sharpen the skills” they use in their current job. The
smallest proportion, 18 percent, said they wanted to “position [themselves]
for a better job.”
Udacity, another for-profit
MOOC provider founded by (erstwhile) Stanford professors, has also conducted
some initial probes into the make-up of its early registrants. While the
company did not share any data tables with Inside Higher Ed, chief executive
officer David Stavens said more than 75 percent of the students who took the
company’s first course, Artificial Intelligence, last fall were looking to
“improve their skills relevant for either current or future employment.”
That is a broad category,
encompassing both professionals and students, so it does not lend much
nuance to the questions of who the students are or what they want. And even
the more detailed breakdown of the students who registered for Ng’s Machine
Learning course cannot offer very much upon which to build a sweeping thesis
on how MOOCs might fit into the large and diverse landscape of higher
Coursera has since completed
the first iterations of seven additional courses and opened registration for
32 more beyond that. Many of those courses — which cover poetry, world
music, finance, and behavioral neurology — are likely to attract different
sorts of people, with different goals, than Machine Learning did. “I'm
expecting that the demographics for some of our upcoming classes (Stats One,
Soc 101, Pharmacology, etc.) will be very different,” said Daphne Koller,
one of Coursera’s founders, in an e-mail.
Coursera, the company
that provides support and Web hosting for massive open online courses at top
universities, announced Thursday that more than 1 million students have
registered for its courses. The company now serves as a MOOC platform for 16
universities and lists 116 courses, most of which have not started yet. The
students registering for the courses are increasingly from the United
States. Coursera told Inside Higher Ed earlier this summer that about 25
percent of its students hailed from the United States; that figure now
stands at 38.5 percent, or about 385,000 students. Brazil, India and China
follow, with between 40,000 to 60,000 registrants each. U.S. students cannot
easily get formal credit through Coursera or its partners institutions, but
some universities abroad reportedly have awarded credit to students who have
taken the free courses.
Is the message that learning
from Stanford professors is not worth the price of $0?
Actually I think the message
is that for many folks who try MOOCs the work of learning is too intense and
time consuming given their lack of commitment to keeping up with the class.
Richard Campbell once
revealed to the AECM that when he tried to learn from a MOOC it was like
"trying to drink from a firehose." I dropped out of a C++ programming course
because my heart just was not in keeping up with the class. Ruth Bender
revealed to the AECM that completing a MOOC was one of the hardest things
she ever tried.
In my viewpoint MOOCs are
not good models for introductory students where more hand holding is
generally needed. MOOCs are better suited to highly specialized advanced
courses for learners who are way above average in terms of aptitude and
Many others over $1.0 billion are in the
table (most with unfamiliar names)
The American Dream still exists but it's not the dream we envisioned before the
age of technology. Keep in mind the $1.0 billion is a buck greater than
$999,999,999 million. It would be interesting to know how many jobs these
startups have created directly and indirectly by outsourcing and purchasing of
goods and services. Then there are all those higher-order jobs created such as
the number of IRS agents and other government agency employees hired just to
keep track of these new startups in the Billionaires' Club. The higher order
impacts go on and on and on. And let's not forget all those lawyers and
accountants and teachers indirectly affected by these startups and employee
families that send their kids to schools and universities.
As far as investments go,
business school is an unimpeachable bet for young professionals who can
muster $100,000. MBAs, who are typically in their early 30s and have already
spent a few years in the workforce, saw their salaries triple within eight
years of graduation. They also report consistently high levels of job
satisfaction and career growth, according to a survey of thousands of alumni
conducted by Bloomberg Businessweek as part of the magazine’s annual ranking
of business schools. But that general contentment hides a troubling divide:
Within a few years of graduation, women with MBAs earn lower salaries,
manage fewer people, and are less pleased with their progress than men with
the same degree.
Each year, we rank business
schools by polling students on topics such as academics, career services,
and campus climate. We also ask employers about skills they seek in MBA
hires and which schools best prepare their graduates. This year, for the
first time, we surveyed alumni who graduated six to eight years ago, asking
them how well their degrees had delivered on the promise of a fulfilling,
well-paid job. The 12,773 responses we collected offer a wealth of salary
information and other data on MBAs working in a variety of industries.
The inclusion of the alumni
responses helped propel Harvard Business School to the top of the 2015
rankings. HBS alums reported the largest gains in compensation and many
attributed their success to their alma mater. Last year’s No. 1, Duke Fuqua
School of Business, slipped to eighth overall, partly because of a
comparatively lackluster job placement rate of 86.1 percent, which is below
the 87.9 percent rate overall.
Women and men start their
post-MBA careers earning almost the same money—$98,000 for women and
$105,000 for men—according to our survey of those who graduated from 2007
through 2009. But the gap then widens sharply. By 2014 men hauled in a
median of $175,000 and women, $140,000. That means employers pay women 80
percent of what men with the same degree take home.
Continued in article
I want to start out by saying that I believe there are differences in
compensation levels by gender. However, the article above, and virtually every
other related article I've ever encountered, does not probe very deep to uncover
possible reasons for the so-called gender salary gap. First I want to compliment
the authors for using medians rather than mean averages. This is the first thing
I look for because means can be skewed by outliers more easily than medians.
Let me begin by noting that what are outliers in
smaller populations can also be outliers in large populations but there are
randomly more such outliers in large populations. It was always surprising in
the NBA when the Houston Rockets imported
Yao Ming, a 7-foot 6 inch Chinese center. In both the USA and China Yao Ming
is an outlier in terms of height ---
In terms of population the USA has an estimated
population of slightly over 320 million people. China has an estimated
1,376 million people. People over seven feet tall are outliers in both the USA
and China. However, the odds of having many more people over seven feet tall are
much greater in China than the USA due to the sheer difference in the
populations of these two nations.
In a random sample of 320 female MBA graduates
and a random sample of 1,376 male graduates one would expect that the mean and
median salaries of the men would be higher than the women due to random chance
because there are many more high-salaried outliers in the larger sample of
males. Since the lower salaried men and women are
bounded by zero the means and medians of the random samples are
driven upward by the higher salaried men and women. Suppose we designated a high
salary as anything over $200,000. One would expect more high salaried men than
women in these two samples due to the difference in the sample sizes.
It's the bottom part of the salary distribution
where gender analysis becomes more complicated. In a random world one would
expect to find more zero-salaried men than women in the above samples due to the
sample size differences. However, here is where the real world is not random
because statistically female MBA graduates in reality have a higher probability
of not entering or soon dropping out of the work force to devote full time or
nearly full time to mothering their new babies.
As a result statistical analysis showing higher
mean or median salaries among the 1,376 males is not probably as much due to
hiring and promotion bias due to gender as it is to such complications as having
more male MBA graduates than female graduates and the higher probability that a
female will leave the full-time work force at least during the early years of
Of course all of this becomes more complicated
when the number of female graduates becomes larger relative to male graduates. I
think there are still more male MBA graduates, but in terms of accounting
graduates the number of females now exceeds the number of male graduates. Also
the large public accounting firms are hiring more female than male graduates.
Carried to extremes suppose that we randomly sample 1,376 female accounting
graduates and 321 male accounting graduates. My hypothesis is that the mean and
median salaries of the females will exceed those of the males after five years
of employment. Of course these averages may differ for the entire populations of
accounting graduates because the gender differences among all accounting
graduates is closer to 50/50 than 1,376/321.
There are other complications in this analysis.
My opinion is that newly-hired male and female graduates joining a given local
office of a Big Four firm will earn the same starting compensation. However, the
new hires in the San Francisco local office will have higher salaries than the
San Antonio office of a given firm based upon huge differences in costs of
living in these two cities. To do a complete gender analysis we would have to
factor in whether there are gender differences based upon cost of living in
local offices. Do mothers tend to prefer or avoid San Francisco vis-a-vis San
Antonio? It's certainly more complicated to both work full time and raise young
children in San Francisco where rents are now higher than anywhere in the USA.
Hence one would expect mothers to prefer San Antonio relative to San Francisco.
One would expect more females moving away from the San Francisco office once
they became mothers.
My point is that one has to be very careful when
it comes to inferring gender bias causality in most any type of statistical
analysis beyond the usual problem of spurious correlation. I think most studies
of gender differences in salaries do not delve deeply enough into the really
complicated factors affecting statistical analysis outcomes.
But I do still believe there is gender bias
against mothers of young children in terms of employment and compensation. I'm
not convinced there's such a degree of bias against those women who are not
mothers of young children.
As Brain Pickings turns nine, I continue
to stand by these seven reflections, but the time has come to add two more.
(Nine is also an excellent numeral — an exponential factorial, the number of
Muses in Greek mythology, my favorite chapter in Alice in Wonderland.)
Here are the original seven, as they appeared in 2013:
Allow yourself the
uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. Cultivate
that capacity for
“negative capability.” We live in a culture
where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so
we often form our “opinions” based on superficial impressions or the
borrowed ideas of others, without investing the time and thought that
cultivating true conviction necessitates. We then go around asserting
these donned opinions and clinging to them as anchors to our own
reality. It’s enormously disorienting to simply say, “I don’t know.” But
it’s infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right — even if
that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all,
Do nothing for
prestige or status or money or approval alone. As
Paul Graham observed, “prestige is like a
powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It
causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like.”
Those extrinsic motivators are fine and can feel life-affirming in the
moment, but they ultimately don’t make it thrilling to get up in the
morning and gratifying to go to sleep at night — and, in fact, they can
often distract and detract from the things that do offer those deeper
Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit
and, especially, with your words. It’s so much easier to be a critic
than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other
end of every exchange and behind every cultural artifact being
critiqued. To understand and be understood, those are among life’s
greatest gifts, and every interaction is an opportunity to exchange
4.Build pockets of stillness into your life. Meditate.
Go for walks. Ride your bike going nowhere in particular. There is a
creative purpose to
daydreaming, even to
boredom. The best ideas come to us when we stop
actively trying to coax the muse into manifesting and let the fragments of
experience float around our unconscious mind in order to click into new
combinations. Without this essential stage of
flow of the creative process
When people tell you who they are,
Maya Angelou famously advised, believe them.
Just as importantly, however, when people try to tell
you who you
are, don’t believe them. You are the only custodian of
your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand
who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and
absolutely nothing about you.
Presence is far
more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity.
Ours is a culture that measures our worth as human beings by our
efficiency, our earnings, our ability to perform this or that. The cult
of productivity has its place, but worshipping at its altar daily robs
us of the very capacity for joy and wonder that makes life worth living
— for, as
Annie Dillard memorably put it, “how we spend
our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
worthwhile to take a long time.” This is
borrowed from the wise and wonderful
Millman, for it’s hard to better capture
something so fundamental yet so impatiently overlooked in our culture of
immediacy. The myth of the overnight success is just that — a myth — as
well as a reminder that our present definition of success
needs serious retuning.
As I’ve reflected
elsewhere, the flower doesn’t go from bud to
blossom in one spritely burst and yet, as a culture, we’re disinterested
in the tedium of the blossoming.
But that’s where all the real magic unfolds in the making of one’s
character and destiny.
And here are the two new additions:
Seek out what
magnifies your spirit. Patti Smith, in
discussing William Blake and her creative influences,
talks about writers and artists who magnified her
spirit — it’s a beautiful phrase and a beautiful notion. Who are the
people, ideas, and books that magnify your spirit? Find them, hold on to
them, and visit them often. Use them not only as a remedy once spiritual
malaise has already infected your vitality but as a vaccine administered
while you are healthy to protect your radiance.
Don’t be afraid to
be an idealist. There is much to be said for our
responsibility as creators and consumers of that constant dynamic
interaction we call culture — which side of the fault line between
catering and creating are we to stand on? The commercial enterprise is
conditioning us to believe that the road to success is paved with
catering to existing demands — give the people cat GIFs, the narrative
goes, because cat GIFs are what the people want. But E.B. White, one of
our last great idealists, was eternally right when he
asserted half a century ago that the role of
the writer is “to lift people up, not lower them down” — a role each of
us is called to with increasing urgency, whatever cog we may be in the
machinery of society. Supply creates its own demand. Only by
consistently supplying it can we hope to increase the demand for the
substantive over the superficial — in our individual lives and in the
collective dream called culture.
In the spirit of reflection, here are my current
nine favorite pieces from the first nine years of Brain Pickings:
Continued in article
There are always exceptions to most every rule. For example, being an idealist
can sometimes get in the way of creativity and even stifle effort. For example,
you should perhaps write something every day and post much of it at your Website
even though it is not as perfect as you would like and opens you to criticisms
from experts who are idealists who criticize a lot but never create anything
that might open themselves to criticism.
Times are changing for professional women at work. The big CPA firms now hire
more female accounting graduates than male accounting graduates. There are also
cracks in the glass ceiling. Deloitte, one of the top Big Four firms, just
appointed a woman CEO.
Ole yust does not
yet vant Lena to be da boss Women CEOs are rare in Norway and Sweden even though these
nations are highest in terms of gender equality on other
In some European Union countries,
there are two separate
boards, one executive board
for the day-to-day business and one supervisory board for
control purposes (selected by the shareholders). In these
countries, the CEO presides over the executive board and the
chairman presides over the supervisory board, and these two
roles will always be held by different people. This ensures
a distinction between management by the executive board and
governance by the supervisory board. This allows for clear
lines of authority. The aim is to prevent a conflict of
interest and too much power being concentrated in the hands
of one person.
Norway was the first country to
introduce a quota for women on company boards. Since its
introduction in 2003, the number of women on board has
reached 40 per cent as required by law.
In several European countries,
Germany being one of them, a debate has begun on how to
increase the number of women in leading positions in
business. The question of whether or not quota legislation
is needed to reach this goal is highly contested.
The Norwegian experience reveals
that a quota is the key to a successful implementation. Not
only does it create the pressure needed for fundamental
change but it also triggers a public debate at the core of
which are questions of gender equality in wider society
Ole yust does not yet vant Lena
to be da boss (Norway is not
in the 28-Member European Union) From the Harvard Business Review Blog on December 30,
Norwegian Companies Morph to
Avoid Gender-Balance Law
One of the consequences of Norway’s
law mandating that at least 40% of the directors of public
limited companies be female is that numerous firms have
switched their organizational form, sometimes at significant
cost, so that they are no longer public limited companies,
say Øyvind Bøhren and Siv Staubo of Norwegian Business
School. Among the companies in that category when the law
was passed in 2003, 51% chose to become private
limited-liability firms by the time it became binding five
years later. However, Norway may further extend the
board-representation rule to other corporate forms.
Jensen Comment In the USA the CEO generally has enormous power is choosing
the slate of board members voted on by the shareholders. Also
shareholders uninterested in voting often give voting proxies to
the CEO. Hence the election of board members is not exactly an
example of great democracy in action. For public relations
purposes and for purposes of competency, however, CEOs are
increasingly attempting to get women on corporate boards. Also
corporate boards for sometimes complicated reasons, including
competency, are increasingly trying to appoint women as CEOs.
The University of Florida on Wednesday announced that it is terminating a huge 11-year deal for Pearson to build and manage the university's online programs. The announcement came in an internal email obtained and published by Politico Florida. The email says the university will be better able to serve online students by including them in general university operations and obtaining some new specialized help for some areas, such as marketing.
The size of the deal (Pearson could have earned $186 million if it met all goals) has made it a target of criticism from some on campus. The agreement included a provision stating that Florida could withdraw or renegotiate if certain goals weren't met. And out-of-state enrollment goals weren't met, giving the university the option it is now exercising. A month ago, both sides said they were in discussions that could have led to the agreement being modified, not ended.
Pearson released the following statement: "In November 2013, Pearson and the University of Florida signed a landmark agreement to deliver UF Online. In that time, Pearson made a significant up-front investment in this program, shouldering much of the risk, including building a Florida-based staff and developing the marketing effort around the program. We are disappointed that the university has decided not to move forward with this partnership. There are always challenges when launching innovative, multifaceted programs such as this, especially at highly competitive institutions and on such a tight timeline. It is important to note there have been successes. UF saw an 84 percent increase in UF Online student enrollment this fall when compared to fall 2014 and continues to expand the number of online undergraduate programs with a total of 19 majors from six colleges slated to be offered by next fall. Due to the reduced in-state tuition offered through UF Online, Florida students have saved over $3.5 million in tuition since the inception of the program. Pearson is proud to offer programs that make higher education more accessible and affordable for students. Pearson's online program management services have been successful at a number of colleges and universities across the U.S. We have learned a great deal from the UF partnership that can be applied to helping both Pearson and other university customers improve their delivery of online options for students."
These online courses from Pearson were fee-based and apparently had a condition
that they would attract out-of-state and well as in-state students. Out-of-state
tuition at $500 per credit is substantially higher than $112 for in-state
students. Out-of-state students had little incentive to pay the higher prices
when there own in-state universities offered much less expensive and possibly
better online credits. And the Pearson courses did not have the high performance
rankings of other in-state online programs ranked by US News at
Also Pearson did not fully cover the most
popular programs such as most of the University of Florida courses in
accounting, finance, and business in general.
Photocopy machines are often placed in libraries because it's assumed that
extensive photocopying of books is too expensive for copyright violations.
However, newer technologies in video make page copying quite cheap.
My born name was the
gloriously Celtic Donald. It means in Old Irish "world ruler," and is out of
favor now for its association with a duck. One wonders what The Donald’s
impact will be.
In 1995, to keep the D and
the Irish, while losing the masculinity, I chose Deirdre, which may have
meant "wanderer," and whose ravishingly romantic myth inspired two plays in
the Celtic Revival, by Yeats and by Synge. That fact — and that university
teachers in Britain are called "dons" — illuminates one of my favorite
headlines. Written by some genius at the (London) Times Higher Education
Supplement, it was affixed to a column I wrote saying that transitioning in
academic life is far less traumatic than one might expect, and certainly
easier than, say, in the Navy or on a football team: "It Helps to Be a Don
if You’re Going to Be a Deirdre."
Two decades later, that’s
even more true, and academe should take a moment out of its busy day to
congratulate itself for setting a good example for the rest of society,
which has caught up to a surprising degree.
Even in 1995 I met someone
who transitioned while working at an auto factory in Tennessee. She had
little trouble, being very open about it, and having acquired through sheer
force of will and much practice a suitably feminine voice. And in one way,
1995 was easier than 2015 — the lawyers had not gotten into the game.
When in Iowa City I went to
the courthouse to change my name, the judge had seen such efforts before and
had no over-lawyered regulations to undermine Iowa common sense. Likewise at
the Iowa Motor Vehicle Division. Even the feds took things in stride. A few
days before flying to Holland to teach for a year, I pleaded through tears
on the telephone for a New Hampshire office to send me a passport with my
new name, and the woman did, possibly skirting a regulation or two.
In 2012 at the annual meetings of the American Accounting Association I had the
genuine privilege of being one of the discussants on a plenary session
presentation by renowned economic and statistics historian Deirdre Nansen
McCloskey, Deirdre was born Don McCloskey and had transgender realignment
surgery after obtaining a Ph.D. from Harvard and raising a family as an
economics professor at the University of Iowa. You can read my (Bob Jensen's)
discussion comments and other matters related to her presentation at
The Cult of Statistical Significance: How
Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives, by Stephen T. Ziliak
and Deirdre N. McCloskey (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, ISBN-13:
Like scientists today in medical and economic and
other sizeless sciences, Pearson mistook a large sample size for the
definite, substantive significance---evidence s Hayek put it, of "wholes."
But it was as Hayek said "just an illusion." Pearson's columns of sparkling
asterisks, though quantitative in appearance and as appealing a is the
simple truth of the sky, signified nothing.
The implied reader of our book is a significance tester, the keeper of
numerical things. We want to persuade you of one claim: that William Sealy
Gosset (1879-1937) --- aka "Student" of Student's t-test --- was right and
that his difficult friend, Ronald A. Fisher, though a genius, was wrong.
Fit is not the same thing as importance. Statistical significance is not the
same thing as scientific finding. R2. t-statistic, p-value,
F-test, and all the more sophisticated versions of them in time series and
the most advanced statistics are misleading at best.
No working scientist today
knows much about Gosset, a brewer of Guinness stout and the inventor of a
good deal of modern statistics. The scruffy little Gossset, with his tall
leather boots and a rucksack on his back, is the heroic underdog of our
story. Gosset, we claim, was a great scientist. He took an economic approach
to the logic of uncertainty. For over two decades he quietly tried to
educate Fisher. But Fisher, our flawed villain, erased from Gosset's
inventions the consciously economic element. We want to bring it back.
. . .
Can so many scientists have
been wrong for the eighty years since 1925? Unhappily yes. The mainstream in
science, as any scientist will tell you, is often wrong. Otherwise, come to
think of it, science would be complete. Few scientists would make that
claim, or would want to. Statistical significance is surely not the only
error of modern science, although it has been, as we will show, an
exceptionally damaging one. Scientists are often tardy in fixing basic flaws
in their sciences despite the presence of better alternatives. ...
Continued in the Preface
A brewer of beer, William Sealy Gosset (1876-1937),
proved its (statistical significance) in
small samples. He worked at the Guinness Brewer in Dublin, where for
most of his working life he was head experimental brewer. He saw in 1905
where the need for a small-smle test because he was testing varieties of
hops and barley in field samples with N as small as four. Gosset, who is
hardly remembered nowadays, quietly invented many tools of modern applied
statistics, including Monte Carlo analysis, the balanced design of
experiments, and, especially, Student's t, which is the foundation of
small-sample theory and the most commonsly7 used test of statistical
significance in the sciences. ... But the value Gosset intended with his
test, he said without deviation from 1905 until his death in 1937. was its
ability to sharpen statements of substantive or economic
significance. ... (he) wrote to his elderly friend, the great Karl Person:
"My own war work is obviously to brew Guinness stout in each way as to waste
as little labor and material as possible, and I am hoping to help to do
something fairly creditable in that way." It seems he did.
Sizelessness is not what most Fisherians (deciples of
Ronald Fisher) believe they are getting. The sizeless scientists have
adopted a method of deciding which numbers are significant that has little
to do with the humanly significant numbers. The scientists re counting, to
be sure: "3.14159***," they proudly report of simply "****." But, as the
probablist Bruno de Finetti said, they proudly report scientists are acting
as though "addition requires different operations if concerned with pure
number or amounts of money" (De Finetti 1971, 486, quoted in Savage 1971a).
for scientific how much would imply that the value of a lottery ticket is
the chance itself, the chance 1 in 38,000, say in or 1 in 1,000,000,000. It
supposes that the only source in value in the lottery is sampling
variability. It sets aside as irrelevant---simply ignores---the value of the
expected prize., the millions that success in the lottery could in fact
yield. Setting aside both old and new criticisms of expected utility theory,
a prize of $3.56 is very different, other things equal, from a prize of
$356,000,000. No matter. Statistical significance, startlingly, ignores the
Continued on Page 10
The doctor who cannot distinguish statistical
significance from substantive significance, an F-statistic from a heart
attach, is like an economist who ignores opportunity cost---what statistical
theorists call the loss function. The doctors of "significance" in medicine
and economy are merely "deciding what to say rather than what to do" (Savage
1954, 159). In the 1950s Ronald Fisher published an article and a book that
intended to rid decision from the vocabulary of working statisticians
(1955, 1956). He was annoyed by the rising authority in highbrow circles of
those he called "the Neymanites."
Continued on Page 15
An example is provided regarding how Merck manipulated statistical inference
to keep its killing pain killer Vioxx from being pulled from the market.
Another story. The Japanese government in June 2005
increased the limit on the number of whales that may be annually killed in
the Antarctica---from around 440 annually to over 1,000 annually. Deputy
Commissioner Akira Nakamae explained why: "We will implement JARPS-2 [the
plan for the higher killing] according to the schedule, because the sample
size is determined in order to get statistically significant results" (Black
2005). The Japanese hunt for the whales, they claim, in order to collect
scientific data on them. That and whale steaks. The commissioner is right:
increasing sample size, other things equal, does increase the statistical
significance of the result. It is, fter all, a mathematical fact that
statistical significance increases, other things equal, as sample size
increases. Thus the theoretical standard error of JAEPA-2, s/SQROOT(440+560)
[given for example the simple mean formula], yields more sampling precision
than the standard error JARPA-1, s/SQROOT(440). In fact it raises the
significance level to Fisher's percent cutoff. So the Japanese government
has found a formula for killing more whales, annually some 560 additional
victims, under the cover of getting the conventional level of Fisherian
statistical significance for their "scientific" studies.
The textbooks are wrong. The teaching is wrong. The
seminar you just attended is wrong. The most prestigious journal in your
scientific field is wrong.
You are searching, we know,
for ways to avoid being wrong. Science, as Jeffreys said, is mainly a series
of approximations to discovering the sources of error. Science is a
systematic way of reducing wrongs or can be. Perhaps you feel frustrated by
the random epistemology of the mainstream and don't know what to do. Perhaps
you've been sedated by significance and lulled into silence. Perhaps you
sense that the power of a Roghamsted test against a plausible Dublin
alternative is statistically speaking low but you feel oppressed by the
instrumental variable one should dare not to wield. Perhaps you feel
frazzled by what Morris Altman (2004) called the "social psychology rhetoric
of fear," the deeply embedded path dependency that keeps the abuse of
significance in circulation. You want to come out of it. But perhaps you are
cowed by the prestige of Fisherian dogma. Or, worse thought, perhaps you
are cynically willing to be corrupted if it will keep a nice job
Lovelace and Charles Babbage
invented the world’s first computer,
their “Analytical Engine” became the
evolutionary progenitor of a new class of human extensions —
machines that think. A generation later, Alan Turing picked
up where they left off and, in laying the foundations of
artificial intelligence with his Turing Test, famously
posed the techno-philosophical
question of whether a
computer could ever enjoy strawberries and cream or compel
you to fall in love with it.
From its very
outset, this new branch of human-machine evolution made it
clear that any answer to these questions would invariably
alter how we answer the most fundamental questions of what
it means to be human.
founder John Brockman
explores in the 2015 edition of his
inviting 192 of today’s most prominent thinkers to tussle
with these core questions of artificial intelligence and its
undergirding human dilemmas. The answers, collected in
What to Think About Machines That Think: Today’s Leading
Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence
library), come from such
diverse contributors as physicist and mathematician
Freeman Dyson, music pioneer Brian Eno,
biological anthropologist Helen Fisher,
Positive Psychology founding father Martin Seligman,
computer scientist and inventor Danny Hillis,
TED curator Chris Anderson, neuroscientist
Sam Harris, legendary curator Hans
Ulrich Obrist, media theorist Douglas
Rushkoff, cognitive scientist and linguist
Steven Pinker, and yours truly.
The answers are
strewn with a handful of common threads, a major one being
the idea that artificial intelligence isn’t some futuristic
abstraction but a palpably present reality with which we’re
Beloved musician and
prolific readerBrian Eno
looks at the many elements of his day, from cooking porridge
to switching on the radio, that work seamlessly thanks to an
invisible mesh of connected human intelligence — a Rube
Goldberg machine of micro-expertise that makes it possible
for the energy in a distant oil field to power the stove
built in a foreign factory out of components made by
scattered manufacturers, and ultimately cook his porridge.
In a sentiment that calls to mind
I, Pencil — that magnificent
vintage allegory of how everything is connected — Eno
explains why he sees artificial intelligence not as a
protagonist in a techno-dystopian future but as an indelible
and fruitful part of our past and present:
untroubled attitude results from my almost absolute
faith in the reliability of the vast supercomputer I’m
permanently plugged into. It was built with the
intelligence of thousands of generations of human minds,
and they’re still working at it now. All that human
intelligence remains alive, in the form of the
supercomputer of tools, theories, technologies, crafts,
sciences, disciplines, customs, rituals, rules of thumb,
arts, systems of belief, superstitions, work-arounds,
and observations that we call Global Civilization.
Civilization is something we humans created, though none
of us really know how. It’s out of the individual
control of any of us — a seething synergy of embodied
intelligence that we’re all plugged into. None of us
understands more than a tiny sliver of it, but by and
large we aren’t paralyzed or terrorized by that fact —
we still live in it and make use of it. We feed it
problems — such as “I want some porridge” — and it
miraculously offers us solutions that we don’t really
been living happily with artificial intelligence for
thousands of years.
Students who applied to Arizona State University’s
W.P. Carey School of Business will be pleasantly
surprised to hear that the school is making its
two-year, full-time MBA program completely free.
Thanks to a $50 million gift from the W.P. Carey
Foundation, Arizona State's business school is
awarding up to 120 scholarships to students accepted
into its full-time MBA program—which amounts to a
tuition-free MBA for at least one class of students.
Arizona State is one of the
highest-ranked (No. 67)
and largest business schools in the U.S., according
to Bloomberg’s Business School Rankings.
"This is risk-taking," said
W.P. Carey Dean Amy Hillman. "The more conservative
thing would have been to name some scholarships that
look for a specific type of applicant, but our fear
was that we wouldn't have the kind of impact we're
able to have with this. While helping a few
individuals is important, this is more important."
Arizona State's business school is in the midlevel
price category for MBA programs, ranging from
$54,000 for in-state students to $90,000 for
international ones, according to a spokesperson for
the school. Prior to this year, the school awarded
17 full-tuition scholarships per class.
School of Accountancy and other "business programs" have various top onsite and
online undergraduate and masters degrees that are not free. ASU is a very large
university with multiple campuses ---
The following is a free
preview of CNBC Pro. To get more investment analysis and the live CNBC TV
feed, please subscribe.
Investors fear a "black
swan" catastrophic event in the financial markets right now more than ever
At least according to the
CBOE Skew Index, which measures the prices of far out-of-the-money options
on the S&P 500. Its goal is to determine the benchmark's tail risk or the
"risk of outlier returns two or more standard deviations below the mean,"
according to the CBOE website.
Put simply, traders are
buying options that pay off only if the stock market drops a whole lot.
In the late 18th century, Robert Thomas Malthus
argued that human population growth would always outstrip food production,
thus perpetually condemning some portion of humanity to famine. His
disciples today are now pointing to recent steep increases in food prices as
harbingers of a new age of scarcity. Global food prices have indeed been
soaring, along with other commodity prices, since 2005. In real terms, the
Food and Agriculture Organization’s price index crested in 2011 at 60% above
its 2005 price levels. Farmers around the world predictably reacted to the
higher prices by growing more food. World cereal production rose from 2,348
million tons in 2011 to 2,540 million tons today. Since the 2011 peak, food
prices have been drifting downward, although they remain 18% higher than
they were a decade or so ago.
Cue the prophets of doom. Richard Heinberg of the
Post Carbon Institute has said that the world is now at “peak everything.”
He has further warned that humanity is “waking up to a century of declines.”
In 2013, Earth Policy Institute founder Lester Brown asserted: “The world is
in transition from an era of food abundance to one of scarcity.” Journalist
Joel K. Bourne Jr. declared earlier this year, in his book “The End of
Plenty,” that “the world is running out of food.”
Now comes the neo-Malthusian journalist David Rieff.
He argues in “The Reproach of Hunger: Food, Justice, and Money in the
Twenty-First Century” that “if significant changes to the global food system
are not made, a crisis of absolute global food supply could occur sometime
between 2030 and 2050.” Mr. Rieff’s argument is halfhearted in comparison to
Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich’s bold 1968 pronouncement, in
“The Population Bomb,” that “the battle to feed all of humanity is over. In
the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of
any crash programs embarked upon now.”
The chief question for Mr. Rieff is: Will it be
possible to feed the nine billion people who will most likely be living on
the planet by the middle of this century? He writes that, “in the main,” his
“own views are pessimistic.” But he immediately acknowledges the possibility
of predictive failure and declares: “I insist that it is entirely possible
that twenty years from now, it is the optimists who will be proven right.”
Mr. Rieff spends most of the book excoriating in
turgid prose those he designates as “optimists,” who argue that hunger and
poverty are technically solvable problems. He accuses them of “an
overreliance verging on mystical faith in the application of scientific
breakthroughs that will give farmers in the poor world the technological
inputs and market savvy needed to grow enough food to comfortably feed the
nine or ten billion human beings who will be alive on this earth by 2050.”
He has particular disdain for philanthro-capitalists as personified by Bill
Gates. When Mr. Gates’s foundation advocates harnessing technology to feed
the hungry and reduce poverty, Mr. Rieff sees only ideology. “Perhaps
twenty-first century liberal capitalism’s greatest trick has been convincing
so much of the world that it is not an ideology, and as it did so,
convincing itself as well,” he writes.
The author’s sympathy rests with anti-globalization
activists and their demands for “food sovereignty,” which amounts
essentially to autarkic agriculture by peasant farmers. As history amply
shows, limiting people to local crops is a recipe for periodic famine.
Mr. Rieff denounces what he sees as the global
development “consensus” that “only transformative power of liberal
capitalism in combination with science and technological innovation can end
hunger and extreme poverty.” He finds that the “only feasible” answer to the
problems of hunger and poverty “is to be found in the strengthening of the
state and in the promise and burden of democratic politics.” Ultimately,
politics is the key to fixing the “broken” global food system.
Broken? It is true that far too many people are
still hungry, but poverty is receding around the globe. Earlier this month
the World Bank released projections that the number of people living in
absolute poverty (defined as $1.90 per day) will have fallen from 902
million people (or 12.8% of the global population) in 2012 to 702 million
people (or 9.6% of the global population) this year. According to the World
Bank, these figures provide “fresh evidence that a quarter-century-long
sustained reduction in poverty is moving the world closer to the historic
goal of ending poverty by 2030.”
Continued in article
Update in 2015
Add to this the perils of irreversible climate change in that is probably more
of a disaster to food supplies than any other event in the history of mankind.
Crop production impacts in the USA are small potatoes compared to the
implications climate change on global food supplies. However, one great unknown
is technology for making desalinized ocean water cheap for irrigation around the
The latest (in 2007) from the campaign trail of Obama
"Shift Troops to Fight al-Qaida": "We cannot win a war against the
terrorists if we're on the wrong battlefield," Obama said. "America must
urgently begin deploying from Iraq and take the fight more effectively to
the enemy's home by destroying al-Qaida's leadership along the
Afghan-Pakistan border, eliminating their command and control networks and
disrupting their funding."
"Clueless," Powerline, July 14, 2007 ---
While Commander and Chief Obama's U.S. military is "deploying form Iraq ...
[to]... the Afghan-Pakistan border," the al-Qaida's top leaders will deploy
from Pakistan to the vacated Iraq. To carry the fight to those warring
leaders, Obama's military will then have to re-invade Iraq or give
terrorism's command a safe haven. What will Commander and Chief Obama do if
the new battlefield in fact becomes Iraq? Much depends upon how much terror
the U.S. and its allies will tolerate before re-invading Iraq. Many anti-war
protesters hope that if we give al-Qaida 80% of the world's oil reserves
(which means give them the entire Middle East) that they will become
capitalists dependent upon a safer world to buy their oil. I think
"clueless" is a good word here for the strategy to pull completely out of
Iraq and shift the theatre of war to the Afghan-Pakistan border. Of course
we are and will continue to be worried about Pakistan, because Pakistan is a
major nuclear power teetering on the brink of control by Islamic militants.
If al-Qaida and its sympathizers get control of a nuclear arsenal in
Pakistan or Iraq, "someone will set the spark off and
we will all be blown away."
They're rioting in Africa. They're starving in
Spain. There's hurricanes in Florida and Texas needs rain.
The whole world is festering with unhappy souls. The French hate the
Germans. The Germans hate the Poles. Italians hate Yugoslavs. South Africans
hate the Dutch and I don't like anybody very much!
But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud for man's been endowed with a
mushroom shaped cloud.
And we know for certain that some lovely day someone
will set the spark off and we will all be blown away. They're rioting in Africa. There's strife in Iran.
What nature doesn't do to us will be done by our fellow man. Kingston Trio, 1959 ---
ISIS and other insane enemies around the world are intent on weapons of mass
destruction far more lethal than atomic bombs. Attaining a world population of
10 billion is most assuredly not a sure thing in spite of climate change
It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.
Babe Ruth, And he wasn't
even thinking about
Jihads in those days but I am thinking Jihads these days
organism we call culture — all of our art and literature and
human thought — is in a constant symbiotic dance with human
nature. Our culture both reflects who we are — our values,
our hopes, our fears, our ideals — and shapes who we become
by immersing us in its collectively agreed upon mythology,
systematically perpetuating certain values and negating
others. E.B. White knew this when he
considered the responsibility of the writer
and asserted that “writers do not
merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape
life.” It’s a perennial dialogue between our nature and what
we come to believe is our nature, perhaps best captured by
the physicist David Bohm in his
1977 Berkeley lecture:
“Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true
is what we believe… What we believe determines what we take
to be true.”
In a particularly palpable
manifestation of this symbiotic dance,
the rise of workaholism and
the toxic mythology of work/life balance
have warped our understanding of why
we work, what meaningful labor means, and how we can avail
ourselves of the true rewards of our vocation. That’s what
psychologist Barry Schwartz explores in
Why We Work (public
library) — an inquiry into
the diverse sources of satisfaction in work, the
demoralizing effect of incentives, and how we can reimagine
work culture to enlarge the human spirit rather than
Schwartz, who has previously studied
the paradox of choice and
the moral machinery of practical wisdom — casts the issue against the
staggering statistic that, according to a recent Gallup study of 230,000
full-time and part-time workers in 142 countries, only 13% of people feel
engaged and fulfilled by their jobs. He writes:
Work is more often
a source of frustration than one of fulfillment for nearly 90 percent of
the world’s workers. Think of the social, emotional, and perhaps even
economic waste that this statistic represents. Ninety percent of adults
spend half their waking lives doing things they would rather not be
doing at places they would rather not be.
This, of course, is far from new — one
need only look at that marvelous 1949 manifesto for avoiding work to
appreciate that enduring frustration. But Schwartz’s central point is that,
far from a necessary sunk cost of making a living, this profound
dissatisfaction with work is one of our own making — the product of how
we’ve designed our institutions, how that design has shaped our core
beliefs, and how those beliefs in turn shape who we become. By examining the
dichotomy between discovery and invention — one I think about often —
Schwartz argues that human nature is something we actively invent:
Does the market
cater to consumer desires or does it create consumer desires? Do the
media cater to people’s tastes in news and entertainment or do the media
create those tastes? We are all accustomed to the difficulties
surrounding discussion of these issues in modern society, and we may all
have fairly strong opinions about the “cater/create” debate. Questions
of just this sort are all around us, and finding the right answer to
them can have profound consequences for the future of society. In a
sense, the distinction I’m making is between discovery and invention.
Discoveries tell us things about how the world works. Inventions use
those discoveries to create objects or processes that make the world
work differently. The discovery of pathogens leads to the invention of
antibiotics. The discovery of nuclear energy leads to bombs, power
plants, and medical procedures. The discovery of the genome leads, or
will lead, to untold changes in almost every part of our lives. Of
course, discoveries also change the world, by changing how we understand
it and live in it, but they rarely change the world by themselves.
Continued in article
The fundamental difference between capitalism and communism is the setting of
wages. In capitalism the theory is that wages are set by supply and demand. In a
world where over half the work force is unskilled wages will be low such as the
hourly rate for washing dishes in a Denny's Restaurant. Accordingly, workers get
paid more for skills in great demand such as the skill in removing tumors deep
within human brains. A disappointing aspect of capitalism is that the market
price of unskilled labor may be so low that it's not even a living wage, thereby
we have lobbying for minimum wages and welfare. Another disappointing part of
capitalism is that labor requiring great skill is paid very little if there is
almost no demand for the skill relative to the supply of workers with that skill
such as the skill of being a violinist living in western Nebraska or even in
A disappointing aspect of Communism is in
making transfer payments for skilled labor not in demand. Another disappointment
is in not being able to pay premiums for highly skilled labor in great demand.
Another disappointment is that if workers can choose jobs they enjoy there will
be virtually nobody wanting to clean toilets and wash dishes in restaurants.
What recruits really need to ask is what
transcript credits are worth from any for-profit university. In many (most?)
instances the transcripts are worthless in terms of transfer credit, careers,
and graduate school.
Why not instead choose a top-ranked distance
education alternative from a non-profit university?
This article most likely overstates the importance of power company deals for
lowered usage of electricity under Order 745. Firstly, battery-powered car
owners would probably still find it cheaper to buy electricity than to pay fuel
prices at the pump, especially since fuel prices are expected soon to soar
upwards. Secondly, home owners will soon be generating more of there own power
off the grid. Electric cars are, in my opinion, much more dependent on tax
subsidies on purchase prices and free rides on having to pay nothing for road
and bridge maintenance.
Furthermore, Blumstack overestimates the concerns of Tesla
owners about what they're paying for electricity. Tesla owners are probably in
the top 10% in terms of income given the price of any Tesla vehicle.
Whew! I was so worried that electric car tax breaks for the wealthy would be
eliminated by President Obama. It was even further of concern that Tesla owners
would have to start contributing a few dollars to pay for road a bridge
maintenance. But Tesla owners continue to get a free ride on top of their
$15.000 tax break on each Tesla purchased. Only the proletariat pay for bridge
and road maintenance (except in Oregon)..
From Quartz on October 18, 2015
Germany reportedly bribed its way to hosting the
2006 FIFA World Cup Documents obtained by
German newspaper Der Spiegel indicate that Germany
may have spent up to 10.3 million Swiss francs
(about $11 million in today’s money) in bribes to
host the World Cup in 2006. The newspaper alleges
that the German bidding committee set up a slush
fund, secretly filled by Adidas CEO Robert
Louis-Dreyfus, and used the money to obtain four
votes from the FIFA executive committee. Germany won
the bid by a 12-11 margin in July 2000.
Meet the leaders of
TerraPower, a new company that hopes to solve some
of nuclear energy's biggest challenges. TerraPower is one of Bill Gates's
biggest bets in the search for an energy miracle—and their strategy is to
tackle the issues that surround nuclear energy head on in order to mitigate
its problems. Gates looked at solar and wind energies, but according to John
Gilleland, CTO of TerraPower, "Nuclear is
the only source of energy which could provide the necessary huge quantities
that we need on a global basis." Read more about Gates's commitment
to moving the world beyond fossil fuels in the
November 2015 issue of The Atlantic.
Momma Don't Let Your Babies Choose These
Cowboy careers are already gone except maybe in Argentina
Reporters, correspondents, or
Farmer or rancher
Among the most secure jobs are those that will be hardest to replace by robots
such as those that require the most personal and social interaction such as
teachers, counselors, sex workers, hospital room nurses, etc. It will be a long,
long time before truck drivers, pilots, beauticians, police officers, and
firefighters disappear from the labor market.
Many careers will change greatly. Increasingly
robots will greet patients arriving for medical services. We will still need
nurses but not the ones that feed data into laptops as patients arrive in
hospitals and physician offices. Interactive robots will collect that data
before patients are directed to where the medical treatments take place.
Computers will do more and more of the medical diagnostics and even some medical
treatments but most certainly not all the treatments such as stitching up a
wound on a wailing and wiggling child.
Much of the robotics displacements will take a
very long time. How long will it be until a robot pianist can perform better
than any human in history? The return of the big hotel ballroom dance bands is a
long way off when all of the musicians in the orchestra are robots..
Robots will do much of the legal work now
performed by humans, but the last living beings on earth will probably be
cockroaches and lawyers. Many of us would prefer to be governed by robots but
politicians are among the lawyers that will be the last to go. I forgot to
mention that accountants (not bookkeepers) will be among the last to go because
the living world will always need creative accounting.
From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on October 12, 2015
Erika now buys a lot of stuff from various online retailers with the intent of
returning most if it with free shipping. For example it's hard to fit her narrow
feet. So she orders three sizes shoes online, chooses the pair that is most
comfortable, and returns the other boxes with free shipping. Up here in the
boondocks she rarely finds comfortable shoes in stores. It's amazing how sizes
of shoes and clothes in general vary even though they are labeled as being a
In large measure free return shipping by online vendors is driven by Amazon's
long-time policy of free shipping for returns coupled with easiness in
transacting those returns. All you have to do is to point to a recent order that
was received and click on the option to return the item. It's then easy to print
a return label that has a free return postage declaration. Most times we simply
drop the package off down the hill to our village post office that now accepts
USPO packages, UPS packages, and FedEx packages all at the same counter. We
don't even have to wait in line with free shipping labels --- not that there's
ever much of a line at our small village post office.
Also many retailers are offering original shipping deals to compete with
Amazon Prime ---
Some like LL Bean now offer free shipping most of the time such that it pays to
wait for when there are such free shipping deals. Of course you don't have to
wait for such times using Amazon Prime, although there are quite a few items at
Amazon that do not qualify for "free shipping" under Amazon Prime. For example,
yesterday I ordered a new book published a few years ago that carried a notice
reading "no longer available for Amazon Prime." In other words the Amazon Prime
free shipping deal tends to expire on older books and is almost never available
on used books. I have to chuckle when a used book has a $0 price with only a
small shipping charge rather than a large shipping and handling charge. It
hardly seems worth the effort for a vendor to sell a used book for $0.00 or
$0.01 and $2 for shipping.
One thing I've noticed about Amazon is that increasingly simultaneous orders
are shipped in the same box.
I recently ordered a new pair of red flannel long johns underwear and artificial
flowers on the same day. The artificial flowers arrived two days later but the
long johns did not show up for over a week. So I checked the status of the long
johns order (which is easy to do online with Amazon) and learned that the item
was received me on the same day I received the artificial flowers. So I went out
to my studio, dug down deep in the artificial flower box, and discovered the
pair of new long johns. Sadly the long johns were way too big so I shipped them
back and ordered a smaller size to wear under my snow suit when I move my
driveway snow at below-zero temperatures in a howling north wind.
Grammarly is an online spelling and grammar checker that is easy to use and
simple to install as a free browser extension on either Chrome or Safari.
The service flags grammar or spelling issues and suggests alternatives while
explaining the reasoning behind its suggestions. Like most products of this
kind, there is a free browser extension, which corrects about 150 types of
grammar and spelling errors, and a premium version that will spot and
correct more than 250 kinds of errors. Most people find that the free
version is sufficient. However, those who are writing professionally or
particularly concerned with their grammar may want to upgrade to the pay
version in order to access the full service. Once installed and an account
is created, Grammarly automatically becomes active during all your online
writing, including email and social media.
Designed as an add-on for Google Chrome, Privacy Palette is a web app that
allows users to "regain control" over their web browsing. Using Privacy
Palette, readers may clear private data from their computers or browsers
within seconds, making it difficult for advertisers to gather information by
disabling tracking, controlling ad tracking, managing privacy on Facebook,
deleting cookies, clearing caches, and more. To install, simply click Add to
Chrome. From there, readers can choose from the simple menu what services
they would like Privacy Palette to implement. For instance, Browsing History
clears the history of all previously visited websites, while Cache clears
the previously stored data from visited websites.
Privacy Badger, a
browser add-on for Firefox and Chrome, works to block advertisers from
tracking where you go and what you do on the web. As many people know,
advertisers employ tracking companies to follow users on the web, gathering
information about purchasing habits, interests, political views, health
status, personal finances, and other information. When installed, Privacy
Badger tracks the trackers. If an online entity seems to be following you
across multiple websites without your permission, Privacy Badger then
automatically blocks that advertiser from loading any more content in your
browser. Unlike other similar extensions, Privacy Badger does not use a
blacklist to determine what to block but instead detects tracking sites by
how they behave. To install, simply select "Install Privacy Badger and
Enable Do Not Track," then click "Add extension." Once the add-on is
installed, it can be useful to go through the "helpful tips" to fully
understand the service.
For many web users,
Flash content is the thorn in the side of their Internet use. Whether its
flashing ads on the side of your favorite shopping site or unwanted and
automatic music or video that loads the moment you arrive on a landing page,
Flash can really get bothersome. ClickToFlash blocks all Flash content
unless you choose to experience it by simply clicking a box so that Flash
will then load. Using the contextual menu, readers can also exempt certain
sites from ClickToFlash blocking, so that they can still watch videos on
Vimeo or YouTube or listen to audio from their favorite news stations. To
install the plug-in, simply select Download from the homepage, then double
click the downloaded zip file.
Have you ever wished you could dim all the bright
spots on your computer while watching a YouTube or Vimeo video? Turn Off the
Lights, a free browser extension available for Internet Explorer, Mozilla
Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Maxthon, and Yandex Browser, allows
users to do just that. To download, visit the site and select Download Now.
The program will automatically download to whatever browser is open. From
there, a gray lamp icon will appear in your browser menu whenever a video is
detected. Simply click the icon to make the screen around the video fade.
Atavist advertises itself as "a simple web tool for
powerful storytelling." For those readers who love to write - and write
online - it may be just the service they have been searching for, as it
allows authors to upload photos, video, and audio to create an immersive
experience. The best way to form a sense of what can be done with Atavist is
to select the menu on the top right hand side of the screen and then go to
Examples to peruse creative articles that integrate a variety of multimedia
possibilities. Interested readers will then want to create an account using
Facebook or their email address. From there, the instructions walk through
the steps of creating a New Project, including writing text and using the
convenient drag and drop functions for various media. Many readers will want
to take the Tour, which can be located on the top of the screen after
selecting New Project
(Tibetan Buddhist paintings, ancient Sanskrit manuscripts, Persian books
plus a biomedical collection --- also found here, includes over 40,000
high-quality images) --- http://wellcomeimages.org/
Can aging be slowed by using
gene therapy to make permanent changes to a person’s DNA?
One Seattle-area woman says
she has tried exactly that. Her claim has entangled some high-profile
American academics in a strange tale of do-it-yourself medicine that
involves plane flights to Latin America, an L.A. film crew, and what’s
purported to be the first attempt to use gene therapy to forestall normal
Elizabeth Parrish, the
44-year-old CEO of a biotechnology startup called BioViva, says she
underwent a gene therapy at an undisclosed location overseas last month,
a first step in what
she says is a plan to develop treatments for ravages of old age like
Alzheimer’s and muscle loss.
“I am patient zero,” she declared during a Q&A on the website Reddit on
Sunday. “I have aging as a disease.”
Since last week, MIT
Technology Review has attempted to independently verify the accuracy of
Parrish’s claims, particularly how she obtained the genetic therapy. While
many key details could not be confirmed, people involved in with her company
said the medical procedure took place September 15 in Colombia.
The experiment seems likely
to be remembered as either a new low in medical quackery or, perhaps, the
unlikely start of an era in which people receive genetic modifications not
just to treat disease, but to reverse aging. It also raises ethical
questions about how quickly such treatments should be tested in people and
whether they ought to be developed outside the scrutiny of regulators. The
field of anti-aging research is known for attracting a mix of serious
scientists, vitamin entrepreneurs, futurists, and cranks peddling various
paths to immortality, including brain freezing.
Parrish’s assertions set off
a scramble among members of her company’s scientific advisory board to
understand what had occurred. One distanced himself from the company. “This
is a big problem,” says George Martin, a professor at the University of
Washington and the former scientific director of the American Federation of
Aging Research. He says he’d agreed to advise Parrish several months ago but
resigned his role over the weekend. “I am very upset by what is happening. I
would urge lots of preclinical studies,” he says.
Although lacking formal
scientific training, over the last two years Parrish has emerged as an
enthusiastic spokesperson for the life-extension movement on blogs and
podcasts. According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on April 27, she’d raised $250,000 for BioViva, which lists a
modest two-bedroom home outside Seattle as its headquarters. Her LinkedIn
profile lists a work history going back six years, including administrative
roles at software companies.
Parrish said in an
interview she chose to bypass the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by
trying the procedure overseas. The FDA requires costly trials, and aging
itself is not generally recognized as a disease that can be addressed by
drugs. “What we did is we moved forward to try to treat biological aging,”
Parrish says. “We are attempting to reverse aging at a biological level.”
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend,
if you have one."
-George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one."
-Winston Churchill, in response
A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows
or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies
or your mistress."
"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." -John Bright
"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." -Irvin S. Cobb
"He had delusions of adequacy."
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill
"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great
pleasure." -Clarence Darrow
"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the
dictionary." -William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading
it." -Moses Hadas
"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of
it." -Mark Twain
"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." -Oscar Wilde
"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." -Stephen Bishop
"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others." -Samuel Johnson
"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." - Paul Keating
"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." -Charles, Count Talleyrand
"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." -Forrest Tucker
"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" -Mark Twain
"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." -Mae West
"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." -Oscar Wilde
"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather
than illumination." -Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." -Billy Wilder
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But I'm afraid this wasn't it." -Groucho Marx
A Repeat Forwarded by Auntie Bev
To Those of Us Born 1925 - 1970
: At the end is a well-stated quote by Jay Leno. ~~~~~~~~~ TO ALL THE KIDS WHO
SURVIVED THE 1930s, '40s, '50s, '60s and '70s!! First, we survived Being born to
mothers who may have smoked and/or drank While they were Pregnant.
They took aspirin, Ate blue
cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then, after that Trauma, we were
Put to sleep On our tummies In baby cribs Covered With bright colored Lead-based
paints. We had no Childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or
cabinets, And, when we Rode our bikes, We had baseball Caps, Not helmets, on Our
As infants and Children, we
would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, No air
bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes..
Riding in the Back of a pick- up
truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water From the garden
hose and not from a bottle. We shared one Soft drink with four friends, from one
bottle, and no one actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, White bread,
real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we
weren't overweight. WHY? Because we were Always outside playing...that's why! We
would leave Home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when
the streetlights Came on. No one was Able to reach us all day. --And, we were
We would spend Hours building
Our go-carts out Of scraps And then rideThem down the hill, Only to find Out we
forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned To
solve the problem.
We did not Have Play Stations,
Nintendos and X-boxes. There were No video games, No 150 channels on cable, No
video movies Or DVDs, No surround-sound or CDs, No cell phones, No personal
computers, No Internet and No chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS And we went Outside and
found them! We fell out Of trees, got cut, Broke bones and Teeth, And there were
No lawsuits From those accidents.
We would get Spankings with
wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, And no one
would call child services to report abuse. We ate worms, And mud pies Made from
dirt, And The worms did Not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our
10th birthdays, 22 rifles for our 12th, rode horses,made up games with sticks
and tennis balls, and -although we were Told it would happen- we did not put out
very many eyes.
We rode bikes Or walked to a
friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just Walked in and
talked to them.
Little League had Tryouts And
not everyone Made the team. Those who didn't Had to learn To deal with
Disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing Us
out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! These
generations have Produced some of the best risk-takers, Problem solvers, and
Inventors ever. The past 50To 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and
new ideas. We had freedom, Failure, success and responsibility, and we learned
how to deal with it all.
If YOU are One of those
born Between 1925-1970, CONGRATULATIONS!
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.
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.
FINANCIAL REPORTING PORTAL www.financialexecutives.org/blog 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
Scott has been a long-time contributor to the AECM listserv (he's a techie as
well as a practicing CPA)
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
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
Please encourage your members
to join our listserve.
If any questions let me know.
Jim Counts CPA.CITP CTFA Hemet, CA Moderator TaxTalk