In 2017 my Website was migrated to the clouds and reduced in size.
Hence some links below are broken.
One thing to try if a “www” link is broken is to substitute “faculty” for “www”
For example a broken link
can be changed to corrected link

However in some cases files had to be removed to reduce the size of my Website
Contact me at if you really need to file that is missing


Tidbits on March 29, 2016
Bob Jensen at Trinity University


Set 03 of My Sunrise and Sunset Favorites in the White Mountains of New Hampshire ---   




Bob Jensen's Tidbits ---

For earlier editions of Fraud Updates go to
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to 
Bookmarks for the World's Library --- 

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures ---   

Bob Jensen's Threads ---

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Updates from WebMD --- Click Here


Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio

Free M.I.T. Course Teaches You How to Become Bill Nye & Make Great Science Videos for YouTube ---

Two Women Risked Their Lives to Capture This Chilling Footage Inside the Al-Raqqah, the Capital of ISIS --- , the Capital of ISIS ---

POV: For Educators (hundreds of PBS documentaries on various topics) ---

Sumanas, Inc. General Biotechnology Animations ---

New York Observatory ---

he Daily Show skewered all of Hillary Clinton’s recent gaffes. It’s hard to watch ---

This mesmerizing trick shows what a talented magician Paul Daniels was ---

Free music downloads ---
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 --- 

Quentin Tarantino Picks the 12 Best Films of All Time; Watch Two of His Favorites Free Online ---

Hear John Malkovich Read Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” Set to Music Mixed by Ric Ocasek, Yoko Ono & Sean Lennon, OMD & More ---

Watch Édith Piaf Sing Her Most Famous Songs: “La Vie en Rose,” “Non, Je Regrette Rien” & More ---

Hear the Musical Evolution of Frank Zappa in 401 Songs ---

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) ---
(online music site) ---
Slacker (my second-favorite commercial-free online music site) ---

Gerald Trites likes this international radio site ---
Songza:  Search for a song or band and play the selection ---
Also try Jango ---
Sometimes this old guy prefers the jukebox era (just let it play through) ---
And I listen quite often to Soldiers Radio Live ---
Also note
U.S. Army Band recordings ---

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

Photographs and Art

The Frick Collection: Virtual Tour ---

The Frick Collection: Photoarchive ---

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Puts Online 65,000 Works of Modern Art ---

Beauty, Virtue, & Vice: Images of Women in Nineteenth-Century American Prints ---

USGS Historical Topographical Map Explorer ---

A Curated Collection of Vintage Japanese Magazine Covers (1913-46) ---

Bob Jensen's threads on art history ---

Sand Dunes in Iran ---

5,000 Irish Dancers from 20 different countries descend on Glasgow to battle it out at the world championship ---

These are the 19 most photographed landmarks and attractions in the UK ---

Adam Smith in Glasgow ---

19 Photos Showing that USA Aircraft Carriers Are the Ultimate Weapon ---
But Russian Might Deliver the Knockout Blow ---

17 gorgeous photos of India's Holi festival, the most colorful party in the world ---

9 beautiful, award-winning images from Smithsonian Magazine's photo contest ---

Penguin Swims 5,000 miles every year for Reunion with Man Who Saved His Life! ---

Hike the 2,000-mile trail that most people never finish ---

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 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on libraries ---

 “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke ---

Hear John Malkovich Read Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” Set to Music Mixed by Ric Ocasek, Yoko Ono & Sean Lennon, OMD & More ---

Scientists Discover That James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake Has an Amazingly Mathematical “Multifractal” Structure ---

Electronic Poetry Center [iTunes]  ---

The Poetry Review ---

Stream Classic Poetry Readings from Harvard’s Rich Audio Archive: From W.H. Auden to Dylan Thomas ---

Materials for Teachers: Academy of American Poets ---

Poetic Likeness: Modern American Poets (Portraits of Great Artists) ---

Poetry Resources (writing and reading) ---

Audio and Podcasts: The Poetry Foundation ---

Off the Page [iTunes poetry] ---

The Poetry Foundation: Learning Lab: Teacher Specific Resources ---

The Internet Poetry Archive ---

Library of Congress Launches New Online Poetry Archive, Featuring 75 Years of Classic Poetry Readings ---

National Poetry Month ---

Beat Poetry, Broadsides, and Little Magazines ---

Links to Poets and Their Online Poems --- \

British Women Romantic Poets (1789-1832) ---

Bob Dylan Reads From T.S. Eliot’s Great Modernist Poem The Waste Land ---


Free Electronic Literature ---
Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials ---
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines ---
Edutainment and Learning Games ---
Open Sharing Courses ---

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on March 29, 2016       

U.S. National Debt Clock ---
Also see

National debt just reached a record $19 trillion (plus over #100 trillion in unbooked entitlements burdening future generations in the USA)
Martin Matishak and Eric Pianin, The Fiscal Times
Bob Jensen's threads on entitlements

Entitlements are two-thirds of the federal budget. Entitlement spending has grown 100-fold over the past 50 years. Half of all American households now rely on government handouts. When we hear statistics like that, most of us shake our heads and mutter some sort of expletive. That’s because nobody thinks they’re the problem. Nobody ever wants to think they’re the problem. But that’s not the truth. The truth is, as long as we continue to think of the rising entitlement culture in America as someone else’s problem, someone else’s fault, we’ll never truly understand it and we’ll have absolutely zero chance...
Steve Tobak ---

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

Bob Jensen's threads on entitlements ---

Bob Jensen's health care messaging updates ---

Biggest Heists of All Time ---

Jensen Comment
The biggest heist of all time was overlooked. It was U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's $1+ trillion bailout of his selected friends on Wall Street ---
For example, as the Former CEO of Goldman Sachs he bailed out all of Goldman's failed CDOs at 100% without even negotiating a settlement price while at the same time letting Lehman Bros. fail. Paulson should be in prison.

The Dreaded Ransomware ---
Increasingly Chinese hackers are suspected of this clever computer infection

Beware of Advertisements at What You Think Are the Most Trusted Sites You Visit Daily like The New York Times
"Several major news sites are hosting ads infected with devastating computer viruses," by James Walker, Business Insider, March 16, 2016 ---

A number of major news sites have inadvertently hosted ransomware that could infect visitors' computers and permanently encrypt files. Publishers including the BBC, MSN and The New York Times are amongst those affected in the widespread campaign.

The ransomware was discovered by security researchers at Trustwave. It discovered the network of "malvertising" after noticing that several of its products were detecting a suspicious-looking file being downloaded by major news sites.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Generally you must click on an advertisement to commence an infection. However, there are some dangerous sites like porn and gambling sites that commence infecting the instant you visit the site.

With Ransomware you may not get hurt badly as long as you shut down your computer very quickly and pull the cables to your external drives. Even the smartest of Ransomware hackers cannot encrypt large files in microseconds.

Google Makes Its $149 Photo Editing Software Now Completely Free to Download ---

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

Pew Research Center: Americans and Lifelong Learning ---

Bob Jensen's threads on fee-based distance education alternatives ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free distance education alternatives, including MOOCs ---

Scholars Take a Serious Look at Some of the Main Advantages and Disadvantages of Crowd-Sourced Knowledge in Wikipedia

Several hundred million revisions or contributions don’t fall together as a high-quality encyclopedia just by accident
"Wikipedia and the Momentum of Tiny Edit
s," by Adrienne Lafrance, The Atlantic, March 17, 2016 ---

Among the top-50 longest articles on the English language version Wikipedia, you’ll find lists of comets, Amtrak stations, shipwrecks, fictional astronauts, and cult films. There is a timeline of Baltimore and a look at electric car use by country, along with articles about firearms, Dutch inventions, and rare birds.

If there’s a unifying theory here, a rule about why some topics have sprawling Wikipedia pages and others are relative blips, it’s not immediately evident. A lot of the heftiest articles are in list format, but the topics are all over the map.

There is at least one explanation. Wikipedia editing seems to beget more editing, according to a study published in the journal Management Science. Researchers found that even though Wikipedia editors don’t tend to change much—they typically add delete, or alter about half-a-sentence at a time—even small edits to an article prompt other people to jump in and make edits of their own. And those edits encourage even more edits. And so on.

The researchers started with a basic question: What motivates people to contribute to Wikipedia?

“There are a lot of studies that have found what might be called extrinsic motivations. You get a reputation, and you get to publish on topics that are important to you,” said Aleksi Aaltonen, an assistant professor of information systems at Warwick Business School and one of the study’s authors. “But what we found was this cumulative growth effect; how people draw inspiration from the work itself, which is fascinating.”

To conduct their analysis, Aaltonen and his co-author Stephan Seiler, an economist at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, looked at nearly 61,000 edits across more than 1,300 Wikipedia pages over a period of eight years. They focused on sections of Wikipedia having to do with the Roman Empire, a category they chose because it was less likely to undergo unexpected spurts of heavy editing activity tied to current events.

Over an eight year period, Aaltonen and Seiler found that Wikipedia articles benefitted from length. The “cumulative growth effect” made articles up to 45 percent longer than articles that weren’t subject to the phenomenon, and the articles that were edited more frequently were generally better quality than those with fewer edits. Quality, of course, is difficult to quantify. Other researchers have found a disconnect between quality and popularity on Wikipedia, findings that suggest articles with fewer readers are often higher quality than articles with many readers. There are other concerns about quality, too, tied to the well-documented gender gap among Wikipedia editors. But having more editors attend to any given article—even if each contribution is minuscule—is generally a good thing, Aaltonen says.

“Intuitively, if you imagine you have just one extremely knowledgeable editor, it may lead to personal bias. We all are in some ways biased,” Aaltonen said. “And then if you think about that one editor, and something suddenly happens to this editor ... that’s  a major problem to the development of the article, if it rests on the shoulders of just one or two editors. In that sense, more editors can be better.”

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
In some ways Wikipedia is becoming a victim of its success. As it becomes the go-to encyclopedia for the world it's getting harder and harder to find an ever-increasing need for volunteer editors. Financial sustainability depends upon millions of small contributors in a way that's analogous to the funding of Bernie Sanders campaign. Wikipedia is for the people funded by the people. I urge you to make a contribution to keep Wikipedia free of advertising ---

The success of Wikipedia depends a great deal on volunteer labor as well as money from our Academy. This leads to varying quality of effort. For example, medical schools take crowd sourcing of medical modules very seriously so as to both help both students and the general public and to prevent deceptions. Instructors in medical schools frequently assign medical students to review and modify medial modules. It would be great if other disciplines did the same thing, but alas other disciplines are more lax in their vigilance over Wikipedia.It's extremely rare for an accounting instructor to assign accounting students to enter and modify accounting modules in Wikipedia. The same can be said for many, many other disciplines.

It would be great if law firms, accounting firms, and other private sector firms joined in the fun of correcting and improving Wikipedia modules other than the modules about their own firms. These firms typically have a heavy commitment to local charities and civic duties, but when it comes to a commitment to Wikipedia it's not common to find such commitments of pro bono effort.

What is truly amazing to me is how productive crowd sourcing has been for Wikipedia. Sure it's not perfect, and if you want to be selectively critical of some modules it does not take a whole lot of effort. But if you want to be selectively amazed at some modules it also does not take hole lot of effort. For example, accounting and finance scholars should take looks at such modules as CAPM, hedging, Modigiani, Block Chain Database, Bitcoin, etc.

Take few moments right now and look up a few modules on topics that you teach if you are a teacher. You be the judge of quality, and where improvements can be made it's pretty simple to make those improvements yourself in Wikipedia. Look on the left column for "Tools" at

Bob Jensen's threads on Wikipedia ---

15 Most Popular Search Engines ---

This 25-year-old data engineer is helping disrupt the world of finance ---

The Economist Magazine: Multimedia ---

Can driverless cars become driverless car bombs?

Jensen Comment
Ever since the Oklahoma City tragedy we're aware that enormous and relatively unsophisticated bombs may be planted in cars and trucks.

More than half of the black and Latino students who take the state teacher licensing exam in Massachusetts fail, at rates that are high enough that many minority college students are starting to avoid teacher training programs, The Boston Globe reported. The failure rates are 54 percent (black), 52 percent (Latino) and 23 percent (white).
Inside Higher Ed, August 20, 2007 ---

"This new education law could lower the standards for teachers' qualifications," by Gail L. Boldt and Bernard J. Badiali, Business Insider, March 26, 2016 ---

. . .

Teacher academies

The support for the ESSA has largely come from its reducing much of the heavy-handed federal oversight of education. States and local school districts can now make more decisions about how best to support student learning.

We are happy that the ESSA supports less testing. In addition, it emphasizes a “well-rounded education.” Students will study arts alongside the academic subjects that were favored under No Child Left Behind.

However, our concern is the inclusion in Title II of the ESSA of language which authorizes routes to teacher certification that attempt to fast-track the preparation of teachers for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade positions.

Nationwide, in order for graduates of teacher education programs based in colleges and universities to gain state certification as a teacher, the programs must follow state requirements such as required entrance and exit exams and the number of credit hours in specific subjects such as reading, math and special education.

In the new ESSA legislation, the envisioned fast-track academies will be exempt from states' teacher certification requirements.

In other words, they do not have to meet the standards for accountability and accreditation required of university-based teacher education programs.

Continued in article

"Do Education Programs Dole Out Too Many Easy A’s?" by Rebecca Koenig, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 12, 2014 ---

Are teacher-training programs rigorous enough? A new study, completed by a group that has long been critical of the quality of teacher preparation, makes the case that they’re not.

Education students face easier coursework than their peers in other departments, according to the study, and they’re more likely to graduate with honors.

The report"Easy A’s and What’s Behind Them," which is to be released Wednesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality—argues that a more-objective curriculum for teaching candidates would better prepare them for careers in the classroom.

"We’re out to improve training," said Julie Greenberg, the report’s co-author, who is a senior policy analyst for teacher-preparation studies for the advocacy group. "We want teacher candidates to be more confident and competent when they get in the classroom so their students can benefit from that."

Continued in article

"‘Easy A’s’ Gets an F," by Donald E. Heller, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 14, 2014 --- 

Wow:  97% of Elementary NYC Public Students Get A or B Grades ---
"City Schools May Get Fewer A’s," by Jennifer Medina, The New York Times, January 28, 2010 ---

I did not know that having a massive number of Frequent Flier miles could be so complicated in terms of benefits ---

Jensen Comment
My wife has really dear relatives in Germany. I cashed in on ten round trips to Europe years ago using Frequent Flyer miles. But doing so was often tricky. The biggest problem was that there was always at least one leg of a FF trip that was fully booked (in terms of FF quotas) so that I would have to buy a ticket for that leg --- thereby defeating much of the purpose of the Frequent Flier benefit. The troublesome leg was usually one of the legs crossing the Atlantic. So my strategy became to ask the airline agent what dates were open for FF-point travel where all legs were available for Frequent Flier benefits. There were surprisingly few such open dates. But we usually managed to work our own schedules around those dates. Sometimes this resulted in more hotel days in Europe such that I'm not sure the FF finagling turned out to be such a great deal. In reality it became a losing deal except when I persuaded some European university to pay for our hotel if I would sing for my supper.

I think that one of the credit card companies works it a little easier where it simply buys tickets for all legs of a "free" trip for you and is therefore not restricted to the surprisingly low airline quota on the maximum number of it's own FF seats allowed on each flight. However, the economics of that credit card company's cash back deals is such that savvy customers will usually opt for cash back awards rather than FF award miles.

The above article shows how complicated life can be if you really want to play the airline FF game bigtime including those secret bourgeois clubs.

I still have some American Airlines non-expiring FF miles. Not many of you are old enough to remember when airline FF awards were non-expiring. I also still have a Texaco oil company non-expiring credit card that outlasted Texaco oil company.

Pi ---

Pi History ---

Anti-Pi Day on March 14 ---

The Difference Between a Brain Versus a Computer

"Within You and Without You." by David Eagleman, The Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2016 ---

The feeling of being conscious varies from moment to moment and from person to person. Everyone has a distinctive ‘cognitive gait.’

One of the great mysteries of modern science is that of consciousness. What is the difference between a computer and a brain? The former moves around zeros and ones, but only the latter enjoys the beauty of a sunset, the pain of a stubbed toe, the smell of cinnamon. Consciousness is what allows us to stroll through corridors of memory and to live a rich internal life while sitting, motionless, on a chair. Presumably, computers don’t experience any of this.

The problem of consciousness sits at the heart of neuroscience, and it is into this question that Yale computer-science professor David Gelernter steps with his fascinating “The Tides of Mind.”

At the heart of Mr. Gelernter’s book is a critical observation often overlooked by artificial-intelligence researchers and neuroscientists alike: Your conscious experience is not just one thing. Instead, it falls on a spectrum. At one end, you’re attuned to the outside world; as you move further down the spectrum, you’re increasingly inside your own head, recalling memories and daydreaming. Each day you journey back and forth along the spectrum; your conscious experience changes hour by hour.

Consciousness, Mr. Gelernter suggests, is like a tidal process, in which the direction of mental focus alternates, going out and coming in. He offers an analogy: You’re trapped inside a house. At some point during the day, you look out the windows and paint the outside world to remember it. A bit later on, you focus on the paintings that you have made, reorganizing them and considering possible recombinations. Your skull is the house. Sometimes you’re looking out the window of the eyes, taking in the outside world; at other points in the day you’re lost inside your own head, daydreaming, your internal life running more of the show. At night, when you descend into the bizarre world of dream sleep, you’re trapped completely inside.

Mr. Gelernter points out that many researchers—especially artificial-intelligence junkies—concentrate on one extreme of the spectrum, the end at which we find pure rational thought, at the expense of attending to the “world of pure being.” Each of the different “qualities of experience,” he suggests, is equally important; each allows us to understand the world in a different way.

He further points out that whatever part of the spectrum we’re in, we generally fall for it entirely, as if it’s the only reality. It’s analogous to the way a person in a depression can’t well remember what it’s like to be happy, or a person deeply in love has a difficult time re-creating loneliness. We are constantly trapped inside the character of our current conscious experience. As a result, it sometimes feels as if another person has made the decisions that demarcate your past. It’s all you, of course—but you in different versions of your conscious experience.

Continued in article

Crime in Finland ---

Finnish Prisons: No Gates or Armed Guards ---[]

In All of Europe, Finland has the Most Prison Breaks ---

Jensen Comment
Either Finland has no psychopath or sociopath serial killers and rapists or there are some extremely dangerous prisoners that are kept in locked cells.

There's also a question of whether Finland rehabilitates serial killers, serial rapists, and child molesters better than other nations. Or whether it just lets them loose more easily?

Finland does not have the ethnic gang warfare like we find in the USA in part because of how Finland discourages immigration both by law and low employment opportunities.

In Venezuela the prisoners run the prisons. But in comparison with Finland Venezuela is a very, very dangerous place to live.

"For-profit education is a $35 billion cesspool of fraud—and the US government has let it fester," by Amy X. Wang, Quartz, March 17, 2016 ---

It may have taken a while, but things are finally starting to unravel.

The US government is intensely scrutinizing for-profit colleges, many of which stand accused of stealing federal dollars, preying on low-income students, and falsely reporting job placements, among other deceptive practices. Big names like ITT Tech, DeVry University, and the University of Phoenix are all being called to account. The 107-campus Corinthian Colleges  stumbled to its end last year.

Corruption in for-profit education is hardly new, and the recently retired US education secretary Arne Duncan says the biggest regret of his tenure is not cracking down on its “bad actors” sooner.

The question is: Why didn’t he—or anyone?

“There’s been a serious gap in our understanding about where these institutions came from and how they’ve developed over time,” says Winthrop University history professor A.J. Angulo, who calculates the size of the industry, based on government documents, to be over $35 billion.

Angulo traces the surprisingly long legacy of for-profits in his new book, Diploma Mills: How For-Profit Colleges Stifled Students, Taxpayers, and the American Dream. Schools that operate around profit have indulged in unscrupulous practices since as far back as the 18th century, Angulo argues. Diploma Mills calls out all those practices, as well as the institutions that’ve let them slide for so long. Quartz spoke with the author for a look at the myriad of tensions involved.

QZ: Why’s it important to look back at the history of for-profits?

Angulo: Right now, we have a great deal of literature from economists and political scientists and sociologists who offer case studies from the 1990s onward. But there’s been very little on the historical evolution of how these institutions came about. When I was looking through the 2012 Senate investigations, I saw these startling documents—four-volume, multi-thousand-page studies on for-profits in recent history—and I got to thinking I’d like to put it in historical context.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates ---

When teaching critical thinking the examples below may be helpful in recognizing typical statistical fallacies.

How to Mislead With Statistics
"The macabre truth of gun control in the US is that toddlers kill more people than terrorists do," by Cindy West, The Guardian, March 13, 2016 ---

Jensen Comment
Apart from inevitable quibbles about how to define a "toddler" and how to define a "terrorist," scholars should be able to recognize a fallacy in the above article without even reading the article.

Get it?

Let's try another one using hypothetical statistics because I'm lazy when writing this tidbit.
"You're 100 times more likely to be injured from an accident on your own home property than elsewhere."

Let's try another one using hypothetical statistics because I'm lazy when writing this tidbit.
"You're 100 times more likely to have a car accident within 50 miles of your home."

Let's try another one using hypothetical statistics because I'm lazy when writing this tidbit.
"College students are 100 more likely to die of alcohol poisoning than a heroin overdose"

Like I say the probabilities above are hypothetical by they serve to make my point.

My point has to do with the proportionate law of large numbers.

I don't know how many toddlers there are relative to terrorists in the USA but let's assume there are 80 million toddlers relative to 10,000 terrorists. Every terrorist could kill somebody (intentionally or accidentally) with a gun and probably kill fewer people than children simply because 10,000 is such a small number compared to 80,000,000.. Parents often tend to hide their guns without locking up their loaded guns securely. Children are naturally curious and tend to find most anything hidden in a house, including guns, pill bottles, condoms, and vibrators.

And people are much more likely to be injured in or near their homes because they spend such a large proportion of time in or near their homes 24/7. Think of all those senior citizens who are more prone to falling and get out less and less because getting out is more of a struggle once you have all the ailments on old age. There are more accidents in homes because so much more time is spent at home combined with the reasons you spend so much more time at home (think arthritis).

And out of close to 200 million drivers in the USA, the overwhelming majority of the miles driven by those millions of drivers from miles covered less than 50 miles from home. Is it surprising that accidents are more common 50 miles from home? And the many accidents caused by alcohol abuse is more apt to be rooted in partying less than 50 miles from home.

College students are more apt to die of alcohol poisoning because the incidents of binge drinking vastly, I mean VASTLY, outnumber the incidents of binging on heroin. Heroine use is on the rise on college campuses but heroine abuse is miniscule compared to alcohol abuse among college students.

How to Mislead With Statistics
"The macabre truth of gun control in the US is that toddlers kill more people than terrorists do," by Cindy West, The Guardian, March 13, 2016 ---

So what Cindy?

Suppose that the probability of being shot dead by a toddler in 0.000000044. Further that other things being equal a $1 trillion initiative to buy back guns from USA households reduces that probability to 0.000000022 but does drive it to zero since not everyone will sell their guns to the government. This probably does not meet any reasonable cost-benefit test even though it's impossible to put a monetary value on any single human life.

Furthermore if $1 trillion is spent buying back guns other things are not equal in the real world. The probability of then being shot dead by a home invader greatly increases if most home owners no longer have guns that home invaders fear.

Here's another example of the proportionate law of large numbers
Not a single day now goes by without an Islamist suicide bombing, rocket attack, shooting spree, kidnapping or stabbing somewhere in the world.
Sohrab Ahmari ---

Islam has an estimated 1.7 billion adherents ---

There are over 2 billion Christians earth ---

Each day on average there are kidnappings and murders by people claiming to be Christians. The probabilities of being harmed by people claiming to be Islamists may even be smaller than the probabilities of being harmed by people claiming to be Christians.

A Cambridge professor on how to stop being so easily manipulated by misleading statistics ---

The Science Crusades Against Regression Analysis and Statistical Inference Testing

"Leading Economist Stuns Field by Deciding to Become a Woman," by Robin Wilson,  Chronicle of Higher Education, February 16, 1996 ---

"The Lives of Deirdre McCloskey:  Her gender change may be the least iconoclastic thing about her," by Alexander C. Kafka, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 20, 2016 ---

"Scholars Talk Writing: Deirdre McCloskey," by Rachel Toor, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 20, 2016 ---

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: 978-472-05007-9, 2007)

My threads on Deidre McCloskey and my own talk are at


Bob Jensen's threads on "The Crusade Against Regression Analysis" and Misleading Statistical Inference in General ---
Accountics scientists will probably be the last bastion of defense of misleading science and research. It comes as no surprise that they do not encourage validation and replication of their "research" findings ---

"'Statistically Significant' Doesn't Mean 'Right'," by Faye Flam, Bloomberg View, March 18, 2016 ---

In response to charges that their field is churning out unreliable science, psychologists this month issued a defense that may be tough to dispute. At issue was a claim, published in the journal Science, that only 39 of 100 experiments published in psychology papers could be replicated. The counterpoint, also published in Science, questioned the assumption that the other 61 of the results must have been wrong.

If two experimental results are in conflict, who’s to say the original one was wrong and not the second one? Or maybe both are wrong if, as some argue, there’s a flaw in the way social scientists analyze data.

This is an important puzzle, given the current interest in drawing conclusions from huge sets of data. And it's not just a problem for psychologists. Researchers have also had trouble replicating experimental results in medicine and economics, creating what's been dubbed "the replication crisis."

Some insights come from a new paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association. While previous discussions of the replication crisis have focused on the way scientists misuse statistical techniques, this latest paper points to a human fallibility component – a marketing problem, which boils down to a universal human tendency, shared by scientists, to try to put their best foot forward.

At the center of both the math and the marketing problem is the notion of statistical significance – roughly, a measure of the odds of getting a given result due to chance. Computing statistical significance is a way to protect scientists from being fooled by randomness. People’s behavior, performance on tests, cholesterol measures, weight and the like vary in a random way. Statistical significance tests can prevent scientists from mistaking such fluctuation for the workings of a drug or the miracle properties of artichokes.

Statistical significance in medicine and social science is expressed as a p value, which represents the odds that a result would occur by chance if there’s no effect from the diet pills or artichokes being tested. Popular press accounts make much of their potential for trouble in the hands of scientists. A headline at the website "Retraction Watch" claimed, "We’re Using a Common Statistical Test All Wrong," and Vox ran with "An Unhealthy Obsession with P-values is Ruining Science."

It'll take more than that to ruin science, though, since many fields don’t use p values the way clinical researchers or social scientists do. The problem, as JAMA author John Ioannidis sees it, is partly in the way medical researchers use p values as a marketing tool.

Statistical significance is a continuum – a measure of probability -- but in medical research it’s been turned into something black or white. Journals have informally decided that results should be considered statistically significant only if the p value is 5 percent or lower. (Since most scientists hope their results are not due to chance, lower is better.)

Ioannidis worries that researchers are making too much of this arbitrary cutoff. He sifted through millions of papers and found that most advertised their statistical significance up high, in the abstract, while burying important but perhaps less flattering aspects of the study. A statistically "successful" drug may only reduce the risk of a disease from 1 percent to 0.9 percent, for example, or raise life expectancy by 10 seconds.

Just as food manufacturers have advertised all manner of products as low-cholesterol, all natural, fat- or sugar-free, hoping to give the impression of health benefits, so scientific papers have advertised themselves as statistically significant to give the impression of truth.

The same 5-percent cutoff is used in a lot of social science and has been a source of trouble there too.

In 2011, the psychologist Uri Simonsohn showed that it's all too easy to produce bogus results even in experiments that clear the 5-percent p-value bar.

He set up an experiment to show that he could use accepted techniques to obtain a result that was not just ridiculous but impossible. He divided students into two groups, one hearing the song “Kalimba” and the other “When I’m 64.” Then he collected data on both groups, looking for differences between them.

He found something that varied by chance – the ages of people in the groups -- then, using math tricks that had been common in his field (but are considered cheating by statisticians), he showed that it was possible to come up with a statistically significant claim that listening to “When I’m 64” will make people get 1.5 years younger.

Statistician Ron Wasserstein agrees that there is a right way and a wrong way to use statistical tools. And that means those trying to replicate studies can also get it wrong, which was the concern of those psychologists defending their field.

Getting a different p value in a replication effort is not enough to discredit an existing study. Imagine, he said, you are trying to replicate a study that showed that cats gained weight eating Brand X cat food. The original result shows the cats got fatter, with only a 2 percent chance that this happened by chance. A new study also shows they got fatter, but with 6 percent odds that it’s by chance.

Is it fair to call the original experiment a failure because the second result missed the 5-percent p-value cutoff? Should we assume that Brand X is not fattening? There’s not enough information to draw a conclusion either way, Wasserstein said. To get an an answer you’d also want to know the size of the effect. Did the cats gain pounds or ounces? Did the cats eat more of the food because it tasted good, or was it more fattening per bowl? Statistical significance has to be weighed alongside other factors.


Bob Jensen's threads on "The Crusade Against Regression Analysis" and Misleading Statistical Inference in General ---
Accountics scientists will probably be the last bastion of defense of misleading science and research. It comes as no surprise that they do not encourage validation and replication of their "research" findings ---


P-Value ---

ASA = American Statistical Association
The ASA's statement on p-values: context, process, and purpose ---


The ground is shaking beneath the accountics science foundations upon which all accounting doctoral programs and the prestigious accounting research journals are built. My guess is, however, that the accountics scientists are sleeping through the tremors or feigning sleep because, if they admit to waking up, their nightmares will become real!
"A Scrapbook on What's Wrong with the Past, Present and Future of Accountics Science"
 by Bob Jensen

Bob Jensen


David Johnstone from Australia gave me permission to broadcast his reply to the AECM

Dear Sudipta and Bob, thanks for sending this Sudipta, it was actually written up in the local newspaper (Sydney Morning Herald) the other day. There has also been a series of articles on economic modelling that starts with the conclusion and works back to the argument. People are waking up to rorts slowly but inevitably, it seems.

There are multi-million dollar industries (e.g. “accounting research”) that depend on p-levels and would need a big clean out and recanting/retraining if the tide were to turn. I think that the funding bodies (e.g. taxpayers) are starting to smell rats, so life is going to be different for younger researchers in 10 years I suspect. Much more scepticism about supposed “research”.

I have been toying with writing a book on the P-level problem. I used to be excited about this stuff, I thought it was deeply interesting and other people would also find it interesting. I didn’t realize that most researchers are not intrinsically interested in the techniques they use, and I also didn’t realize that most will resist bitterly anything that makes their lives less glamorous and their self-image less wonderful. This is what I see as the “positive theory of accounting researchers”.

Great to have a couple of old fashioned academics to talk to on this.

By the way, all the young statisticians schooled in Bayesian theory know about the issues with P-levels, and they are breeding up in computer science and elsewhere.

Tom Dyckman’s paper on P-levels is coming out in Abacus 2nd issue 2016. In that same issue is an excellent survey paper by Jeremy Bertomeu on cost of capital etc, which will give that issue further credibility and hopefully prompt some extra readers to see Tom’s paper.

David Johnstone

Jensen Comment
Note that the following article has enormous implications for what is taught in most Ph.D. programs in the social sciences, business, accounting, finance, and other academic disciplines.  Regression analysis has become the key to the kingdom of academic research, a Ph.D. diploma, journal article publication, tenure, and performance rewards in the Academy. Now the sky is falling, and soon researchers skilled mostly at performing regression analysis are faced with the problem of having to learn how to do real research.

Regression Analysis ---

Richard Nisbett ---

"The Crusade Against Multiple Regression Analysis A Conversation With Richard Nisbett," Edge, January 21, 2016 ---

A huge range of science projects are done with multiple regression analysis. The results are often somewhere between meaningless and quite damaging. ...                             

I hope that in the future, if I’m successful in communicating with people about this, that there’ll be a kind of upfront warning in New York Times articles: These data are based on multiple regression analysis. This would be a sign that you probably shouldn’t read the article because you’re quite likely to get non-information or misinformation. RICHARD NISBETT is a professor of psychology and co-director of the Culture and Cognition Program at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking; and The Geography of Thought. Richard Nisbett's Edge Bio Page.

The thing I’m most interested in right now has become a kind of crusade against correlational statistical analysis—in particular, what’s called multiple regression analysis. Say you want to find out whether taking Vitamin E is associated with lower prostate cancer risk. You look at the correlational evidence and indeed it turns out that men who take Vitamin E have lower risk for prostate cancer. Then someone says, "Well, let’s see if we do the actual experiment, what happens." And what happens when you do the experiment is that Vitamin E contributes to the likelihood of prostate cancer. How could there be differences? These happen a lot. The correlational—the observational—evidence tells you one thing, the experimental evidence tells you something completely different.

The thing I’m most interested in right now has become a kind of crusade against correlational statistical analysis—in particular, what’s called multiple regression analysis. Say you want to find out whether taking Vitamin E is associated with lower prostate cancer risk. You look at the correlational evidence and indeed it turns out that men who take Vitamin E have lower risk for prostate cancer. Then someone says, "Well, let’s see if we do the actual experiment, what happens." And what happens when you do the experiment is that Vitamin E contributes to the likelihood of prostate cancer. How could there be differences? These happen a lot. The correlational—the observational—evidence tells you one thing, the experimental evidence tells you something completely different.

In the case of health data, the big problem is something that’s come to be called the healthy user bias, because the guy who’s taking Vitamin E is also doing everything else right. A doctor or an article has told him to take Vitamin E, so he does that, but he’s also the guy who’s watching his weight and his cholesterol, gets plenty of exercise, drinks alcohol in moderation, doesn’t smoke, has a high level of education, and a high income. All of these things are likely to make you live longer, to make you less subject to morbidity and mortality risks of all kinds. You pull one thing out of that correlate and it’s going to look like Vitamin E is terrific because it’s dragging all these other good things along with it.

This is not, by any means, limited to health issues. A while back, I read a government report in The New York Times on the safety of automobiles. The measure that they used was the deaths per million drivers of each of these autos. It turns out that, for example, there are enormously more deaths per million drivers who drive Ford F150 pickups than for people who drive Volvo station wagons. Most people’s reaction, and certainly my initial reaction to it was, "Well, it sort of figures—everybody knows that Volvos are safe."

Continued in article

Drawing Inferences From Very Large Data-Sets

David Johnstone wrote the following:

Indeed if you hold H0 the same and keep changing the model, you will eventually (generally soon) get a significant result, allowing "rejection of H0 at 5%", not because H0 is necessarily false but because you have built upon a false model (of which there are zillions, obviously).

"Drawing Inferences From Very Large Data-Sets,"   by David Giles, Econometrics Beat:  Dave Giles� Blog, University of Victoria, April 26, 2013 ---

. . .

Granger (1998; 2003has reminded us that if the sample size is sufficiently large, then it's virtually impossible not to reject almost any hypothesis. So, if the sample is very large and the p-values associated with the estimated coefficients in a regression model are of the order of, say, 0.10 or even 0.05, then this really bad news. Much, much, smaller p-values are needed before we get all excited about 'statistically significant' results when the sample size is in the thousands, or even bigger. So, the p-values reported above are mostly pretty marginal, as far as significance is concerned. When you work out the p-values for the other 6 models I mentioned, they range from  to 0.005 to 0.460. I've been generous in the models I selected.

Here's another set of  results taken from a second, really nice, paper by
Ciecieriski et al. (2011) in the same issue of Health Economics:

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
My research suggest that over 90% of the recent papers published in The Accounting Review use purchased databases that provide enormous sample sizes in those papers. Their accountics science authors keep reporting those meaningless levels of statistical significance.

What is even worse is when meaningless statistical significance tests are used to support decisions.

"Statistical Significance - Again " by David Giles, Econometrics Beat:  Dave Giles� Blog, University of Victoria, December 28, 2013 ---

Statistical Significance - Again

With all of this emphasis on "Big Data", I was pleased to see this post on the Big Data Econometrics blog, today.

When you have a sample that runs to the thousands (billions?), the conventional significance levels of 10%, 5%, 1% are completely inappropriate. You need to be thinking in terms of tiny significance levels.

I discussed this in some detail back in April of 2011, in a post titled, "Drawing Inferences From Very Large Data-Sets". If you're of those (many) applied researchers who uses large cross-sections of data, and then sprinkles the results tables with asterisks to signal "significance" at the 5%, 10% levels, etc., then I urge you read that earlier post.

It's sad to encounter so many papers and seminar presentations in which the results, in reality, are totally insignificant!


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: 978-472-05007-9, 2007)

Page 206
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.


pp. 250-251
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


Bob Jensen's threads on the often way analysts, particularly accountics scientists, often cheer for statistical significance of large sample outcomes that praise statistical significance of insignificant results such as R2 values of .0001 ---
The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

Those of you interested in tracking The Accounting Review's  trends in submissions, refereeing, and acceptances'rejections should be interested in current senior editor Mark L. DeFond's annual report at
This has become a huge process involving 18 editors and hundreds of referees. TAR is still the leading accountics science journal of the American Accounting Association. However, there are so many new specialty journals readers are apt to find quality research in other AAA journals. TAR seemingly still does not publish commentaries and articles without equations and has not yet caught on the the intitiatives of the Pathways Commission for more diversification in research in the leading AAA research journal. Virtually all TAR editors still worship p-values in empirical submissions.

"Not Even Scientists Can Easily Explain P-values," by Christie Aschwanden, Nate Silver's 5:38 Blog, November 30, 2015 ---

P-values have taken quite a beating lately. These widely used and commonly misapplied statistics have been blamed for giving a veneer of legitimacy to dodgy study results, encouraging bad research practices and promoting false-positive study results.

But after writing about p-values again and again, and recently issuing a correction on a nearly year-old story over some erroneous information regarding a study’s p-value (which I’d taken from the scientists themselves and their report), I’ve come to think that the most fundamental problem with p-values is that no one can really say what they are.

Last week, I attended the inaugural METRICS conference at Stanford, which brought together some of the world’s leading experts on meta-science, or the study of studies. I figured that if anyone could explain p-values in plain English, these folks could. I was wrong.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Why all the fuss? Accountics scientists have a perfectly logical explanation. P-values are numbers that are pumped out of statistical analysis software (mostly multiple regression software) that accounting research journal editors think indicate the degree of causality or at least suggest the degree of causality to readers. But the joke is on the editors, because there aren't any readers.

November 30, 2015 reply from David Johnstone

Dear Bob, thankyou for this interesting stuff.


A big part of the acceptance of P-values is that they easily give the look of something having been found. So it’s an agency problem, where the researchers do what makes their research outcomes easier and better looking.


There is a lot more to it of course. I note with young staff that they face enough hurdles in the need to get papers written and published without thinking that the very techniques that they are trying to emulate might be flawed. Rightfully, they say, “it’s not my job to question everything that I have been shown and to get nowhere as a result”, nor can most believe that something so established and revered can be wrong, that is just too unthinkable and depressing. So the bandwagon goes on, and, as Bob says, no one cares outside as no one much reads it.


I do however get annoyed every time I hear decision makers carry on about “evidence based” policy, as if no one can have a clue or form a vision or strategy without first having the backing of some junk science by a sociologist or educationist or accounting researcher who was just twisting the world whichever way to get significant p-values and a good “story”. This kind of cargo-culting, which is everywhere, does great harm to good or sincere science, as it makes it hard for an outsider to tell the difference.


One thing that does not get much of a hearing is that the statisticians themselves must take a lot of blame. They had the chance to vote off P values decades ago when they had to choose between frequentist and Bayesian logic. They split into two camps with the frequentists in the great majority but holding the weakest ground intellectually. The numbers are moving now, as people that were not born when de Finetti, Savage, Lindley, Kadane and others first said that p-values were ill-conceived logically. Accounting, of course, being largely ignorant of there being any issue, and ultimately just political, will not be leading the battle of ideas.

January 28, 2016 reply from Paul Williams


Thank you for this. In accounting the problem is even worse because at least in other fields it is plausible that one can have "scientific" concepts and categories. Archival research in accounting can only deal with interpretive concepts and the "scientific" categories are often constructed for the one study in question. We make a lot of s... up so that the results are consistent with the narrative (always a neoclassical economic one) that informs the study. Measurement? Doesn't exist. How can one seriously believe they are engaged in scientific research when their "measurements" are the result of GAAP? Abe Briloff described our most prestigious research (which Greg Waymire claimed in his AAA presidential white paper "...threatens the discipline with extinction."). as simply "low level financial statement analysis." Any research activity that is reduced to a template (in JAE the table numbers are nearly the same from paper to paper) you know you are in trouble. What is the scientific value of 50 control variables, two focus independent variables (correlated with the controls), and one dependent variable that is always different from study to study? This one variable at a time approach can go on into infinity with the only result being a huge pile of anecdotes that no one can organize into any coherent explanation of what is going on. As you have so eloquently and relentlessly pointed out accountants never replicate anything. In archival research it is not even possible to replicate since the researcher is unable to provide (like any good scientist in physics, chemistry, biology, etc.) a log book providing the detailed recipe it would take to actually replicate what the researcher has done. Without the ability to independently replicate the exact study, the status of that study is merely an anecdote. Given the Hunton affair, perhaps we should not be so sanguine about trusting our colleagues. This is particularly so since the leading U.S. journals have a clear ideological bias -- if your results aren't consistent with the received wisdom they won't be published.



Bob Jensen's threads on statistical mistakes ---

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

"A Scrapbook on What’s Wrong with the Past, Present a nd Future of Accountics Science," by Bob Jensen, Working Paper 450.06, Date Fluid ---

The purpose of this paper is to make a case that the accountics science monopoly of our doctoral programs and publish ed research is seriously flawed, especially its lack of concern about replication and focus on simplified arti ficial worlds that differ too much from reality to creatively discover findings of greater relevance to teachers of accounting and practitioners of accounting. Accountics scientists themselves became a Cargo Cult.

Gaming for Tenure as an Accounting Professor ---
(with a reply about tenure publication point systems from Linda Kidwell)

Rubrics in Academia ---

"Assessing, Without Tests," by Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed, February 17, 2016 ---

Jensen Comment
Testing becomes more effective for grading and licensing purposes as class sizes increase. It's less effective when hands on experience is a larger part of competency evaluation. For example, in the final stages of competency evaluation in neurosurgery testing becomes less important than expert evaluation of surgeries being performed in operating rooms. I want my brain surgeon to be much more than a good test taker. Testing is more cost effective when assigning academic credit for a MOOC mathematics course taken by over 5,000 students.

One thing to keep in mind is that testing serves a much larger purpose than grading the amount of learning. Testing is a huge motivator as evidenced by how students work so much harder to learn just prior to being tested.

Some types of testing are also great integrators of multiple facets of a course. This is one justification of having comprehensive final examinations.

Testing also can overcome racial, ethnic, and cultural biases. This is the justification, for example, for having licensing examinations like CPA exam examinations, BAR examinations, nursing examinations, etc. be color blind in terms of  race, ethnic, and cultural bias. This is also one of the justifications (good or bad) of taking grading out of the jurisdiction of teachers. Competency examinations also serve a purpose of giving credit for learning no matter of how or where the subject matter is learned. Years ago people could take final examinations at the University of Chicago without ever having attended classes in a course ---

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment ---


"Using Rubrics to Assess Accounting Learning Goal Achievement," by Thomas F. Schaefer and Jennifer Sustersic Stevens, Issues in Accounting Education, Volume 31, Issue 1 (February 2016) ---
Free only to subscribers (including users of campus libraries)

This paper illustrates the development and use of rubrics to improve the learning assessment process and enhance the teaching-learning relationship. We highlight the multidimensional benefits of rubrics as valuable tools for student assessment (grading), course assessment (at the instructor level), and program assessment (at the administrator/curriculum committee/accreditation level). Moreover, rubrics may improve qualitative feedback on learning to students and instructors. Development of effective rubrics is framed in terms of learning goals, measurable learning outcomes, choice of assessment vehicle/assignment, and use of data collected from rubrics for feedback and/or improvement. The paper then offers an example set of rubrics designed to assess student achievement of three learning goals common to many undergraduate accounting programs: accounting measurement, research, and critical thinking. This paper may prove useful for instructors looking to use rubrics to improve the teaching-learning process and concurrently evaluate learning goal achievement for course or program assessment. As an auxiliary benefit, the use of scoring rubrics may simplify grading, as well as data collection in documenting assurance of learning for accreditation purposes.

In higher-education institutions, faculty members often are tasked with measuring individual student performance, assuring their students meet established course learning goals, as well as evaluating overall student progress toward a particular program's learning goals. However, instructors often struggle with assessing student learning in an effective and efficient manner. Scoring rubrics represent a valuable tool to enhance the teaching-learning process by providing a systematic approach to measuring learning outcomes, yet very few studies in the accounting literature highlight the benefits of using rubrics or provide guidance in their application.1

Rubrics—detailed lists of competencies for designated learning outcomes accompanied by levels of performance criteria—can guide assessments at both the student and course level, as well as contribute to a program-level assessment. Moreover, rubrics enhance feedback to students and promote learning (Brookhart 2013; Stevens and Levi 2013). The purpose of this paper is to offer guidance on the development and use of scoring rubrics for classroom and assessment purposes. The paper also provides an example set of scoring rubrics designed to assess student achievement for accounting measurement, research, and critical thinking learning goals.

Rubrics enrich the teaching-learning process at the student level by enabling a discussion of quality for complex work products. Unlike a traditional assessment system in which the instructor judges quality and assigns a grade, a rubric conveys descriptions of quality and connects how a student's performance falls within those guidelines (Brookhart 2013). This facilitates a more objective, productive conversation regarding a student's progress compared to learning expectations and allows the student to identify his or her own strengths and weaknesses (Suskie 2010). If shared with students when distributing the assignment, then scoring rubrics may also help communicate performance expectations and lead to improved student submissions (McTighe and O'Connor 2005). Moreover, scoring rubrics can help standardize the grading process and provide more reliable, fair, and valid feedback to instructors and students (McTighe and Ferrara 1994).

At the course level, instructors should consider their educational program's learning goals when developing student assignments. A carefully designed scoring rubric may complement this process by helping the instructor to clarify the purpose of the assignment, as well as to focus on its most important learning objectives (Ammons and Mills 2005). Feedback from the process may persuade instructors to modify instruction, course content, or assignments to improve teaching and enrich learning within the course. In addition, rubrics may facilitate coordination with other course instructors or teaching assistants by creating a more objective, consistent guide for scoring student submissions (Stevens and Levi 2013).

At the program level, accounting undergraduate and graduate programs routinely assess and document progress toward the achievement of established educational learning goals. In addition, accrediting agencies typically require evidence of student achievement for institution-specific learning goals (Kimmell, Marquette, and Olsen 1998; Stivers, Campbell, and Hermanson 2000; J. Shaftel and T. Shaftel 2007). The development of scoring rubrics may prove useful in constructing assignments to assess specific program learning goals, evaluating progress in meeting learning goals, and facilitating ease of data collection for accreditation or other program evaluations. Scoring rubrics may also help decrease subjectivity in determining when assessments fail to provide evidence of sufficient student learning, so that curricular efforts can be targeted to remedy the deficiency.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment ---


Free Trade ---

It’s enough to take the word of an eminent Nobel laureate (Paul Krugman)
"Three Cheers for Free Trade," by Ross Kaminsky, The American Spectator, March 16, 2016 ---

. . .

Allow me to offer a few quotes (emphasis added) from one prominent economist, at the time a professor at an elite university, who was lamenting the poor understanding of international trade in the United States:

So who is this paragon of capitalist dogma, this right-wing hater of the Rust Belt, this heartless fiend in the pocket of the Koch Brothers? Is it Steve Moore? Larry Kudlow? Ben Stein? Is it a deep-thinking conservative from the American Enterprise Institute or a Cato Institute libertarian?

No, these words are from a 1993 paper published by one Paul Krugman (H/T Don Boudreaux), at the time a professor in the economics department at MIT, who later won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (the official name of the world’s most famous non-athletic prize) for innovative explanations of free trade including that similar countries may trade with each other, including importing and exporting similar products, to satisfy consumer demand for a wider variety of products.

Again, although there is debate at the margins, the very large net benefit of free trade to a nation that engages in it is largely uncontroversial among economists, at least among honest ones — a group that sadly no longer includes Dr. Krugman. This includes the fact that free trade benefits the importing country even if the exporting country does not equally reciprocate with reduced tariffs. As the aforementioned Don Boudreaux puts it, just because the other guys are filling their ports with boulders doesn’t mean we should.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The fact of the matter is that candidates for public office like Bernie Sanders are appealing for votes from workers who are either unemployed or, like Michael Moore of Roger and Me fame, believe in their hearts that selected high tariffs will lead to high wages for them personally. At a personal level they may even be correct for particular trades. But what these voters don't take into account or don't care about is the adverse effect on millions of other workers and consumers who benefit greatly by free trade.

And the hourly worker advocating a high tariff for strictly personal reasons may find that the higher tariffs backfire on him or her personally. The guy on a GM assembly line may think this wage will quadruple with a tariff only to discover that the tariff puts him out of a job or lowers his wage. The current unemployed person may discover that tariffs further reduce the chances of finding work.

And the guy on the GM assembly line anticipating a quadruple increase in wages in Detroit may discover that, if a USA tariff puts 10 million skilled assembly line workers in Mexico out of work, most of those 10 million workers will find their way to Detroit in a matter of weeks and compete for the high wage jobs.

The bottom line is that protectionism is great for getting votes but lousy for the economy except in very rare instances where national defense and economic well being becomes a serious concern. I say "well being" because when the USA entirely stops producing a very strategic ingredient the nation is at risk of being extorted by foreign producers. Our current dependency on China for lithium, for example, is a serious concern. But there are ways other than tariffs when strategic supplies are of concern.


"A Scholar’s Sting of Education Conferences Stirs a Hornet’s Nest," by Peter Schmidt, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 14, 2016 ---

Jim Vander Putten suspected that some education conferences accepted any study pitched by someone willing to pay a registration fee. He worried that the gatherings enabled scholars to pad their publishing records while tainting research in the field.

To test his hypothesis, he sent fake research-paper summaries larded with unforgivable methodological errors to the organizers of 15 conferences he believed to have lax standards. All responded by offering to let him present his findings and to publish his papers as part of their proceedings.

But instead of exposing the dissemination of bad research, Mr. Vander Putten now stands accused of research misconduct himself.

Administrators at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he is an associate professor of higher education, have told him he violated policy by undertaking a study of human subjects without the approval of the campus’s institutional review board. They have rejected his defense that an outside, commercial review board signed off on his plans — after Little Rock’s board failed to do so. A research-integrity officer on his campus has called on him to relinquish the data that he gathered. University officials took such actions after conference organizers he had duped threatened to sue.

Mr. Vander Putten’s unusual case highlights inconsistencies in the judgments that review boards make. It also raises questions of how much commercial boards, which account for a growing share of such reviews, can be trusted to safeguard colleges’ interests.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment

I innocently ended up in one of these phony conferences in a historic village in Germany before I realized it was an expensive, albeit phony, conference for accounting, finance, and business presenters. The first clue that it was phony was that there were no plenary sessions or any sessions with attendees met as a group. There were no dinners, receptions, or vendors selling books.

Here are some other features of phony academic conferences.

  1. These conferences represent no associations. Declarations that the papers accepted for the conference are first refereed are false. Virtually all papers submitted are accepted. Some are even published afterwards if the authors pay publishing fees.

  2. The location is in a popular tourist location on a beach, in the mountains, or situated near casinos. Sometimes they are even on a ship. I'm told that they're modeled after some phony medical conferences attended by physicians on vacations paid for by pharmaceutical and medical equipment vendors.

  3. Faculty submit expense reimbursement requests to their universities for what turns out often to be family vacations. At the German conference mentioned above I met a friend of mine who said his main purpose of attending was to buy a new Mercedes, drive his family around Europe, and then ship the Mercedes back to the USA.

  4. Nothing new or exciting is presented at these conferences. Mostly they old papers rejected by journals are dusted off and presented without enthusiasm.

  5. Only the persons assigned to present a paper in a program time slot attend the session. If there are four presenters there will be one rotating speaker and three in the audience. Sometimes the presenter will leave the session before it's over, thus making it possible that the last speaker has no audience.

  6. Speakers show up only for part of one day fore their assigned presentations. Most arrive late to the conference and leave before the conference ends.

  7. Sometimes the conference is organized by an academic who learns that organizing such fees for such conferences and fees for published proceedings are are better ways of making money than earning a salary at college.


The Shrinking Humanities Major:  Number of bachelor's degrees awarded fell 8.7 percent between 2012 and 2014, study finds ---

No mention of what discipline gains those diverting from law school, but MBA programs are likely in on the action since so many other careers have undergraduate prerequisites
Law School Applicants From Top Colleges Plunge 42% ---

Here's one of the comments following the above article:

They have received the message that law school and the legal profession is no longer a viable, sustainable road to a middle class income. Some do succeed. But many, many lawyers like me struggle. My Schedule C last year was 37K. It has been that way for several years. I consider myself lower middle class and did not foresee this 25 years ago when I got out of law school. Many of us have considerable student loan debt and will take it to our graves. The young guys know that.

Posted by: Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King | Mar 12, 2016 9:12:53 AM

Jensen Comment
Some of the losers upstream are humanities programs since law schools are so popular with top humanities students in top colleges. Many students are now focusing on undergraduate professional programs like pre-med, engineering, accounting, and business in general.

STEM opportunities are also drawing more students into science.

STEM Career ---

The Atlantic: Technology ---

MIT:  Seven Must-Read Stories (Week Ending March 12, 2016) ---

Socratic Method ---

How should teaching change when assuming some students in class, but not all students, have access to prior semester course notes and class discussion solutions?

One way teachers should adjust their teaching is to be aware that student notes from prior terms are selectively available to current students in a class. To some extent this has always been true for students in fraternities and sororities that kept files on course notes and examinations. But now this is increasingly a problem for teachers trying to keep courses fair for all enrolled students whether or not they have access to notes and examinations from prior terms of a course.

This is now an increasing problem since students may be able to buy course notes, textbook solutions manuals, and publisher test banks online. For exampel, course notes may now be purchased from
Thank you David Perkins for the heads up.

I find zero results thus far for smaller colleges and universities, but the mega universities are covered such as the University of Texas, but to date UT only has 30 courses with notes for sale. Hence, this site is not yet such a big deal, but it could grow quickly.

At the moment free files for selected students on a particular campus are more of a problem such as fraternity files. Think of how this can affect student performance grading. Many instructors use the Socratic Method in a way where classroom performances of students can affect grades. If the instructor pretty much teaches the Socratic Method course the same way each semester students having access to course notes from prior semesters can take competitive advantage over students in the class who did not see course notes of prior semester.

This is especially problematic when teaching cases like Harvard Business School cases. Harvard's instructors pretty much limit the use of a case to one semester or take great pains to disguise cases used in prior semesters.

In addition, instructors should probably assume that some students in a class have purchased and possibly shared textbook end-of-chapter solutions manuals and test banks that are now frequently available from eBay and other online vendors.

Teaching a course each semester on automatic pilot with the same course content can be a disaster in terms of fairness to all students in a class.

"From Law School to Business School — evolution of the case method," Harvard Gazette, April 3, 2008

On a recent Wednesday morning, 90 high achievers from around the world prepared to get down to cases.

Their professor buzzed through the classroom like a worker bee. Armed with large, multicolored pieces of chalk, he organized his notes, copied pastel-coded facts and figures on the blackboard, and set up a film screen. Soon his students would be equally hard at work, but in a strictly cerebral way.

This day the instructor was inclined to be kind, giving the young man who would open the class discussion an early heads-up, allowing some time to prepare. Often in this setting, classes start with the heart-pounding “cold call,” where a student is put to the test without warning. The deceptively simple “start us off” translates into “as quickly and coherently and convincingly as possible, tell us everything known about this situation and give us your best insight.”

As well as being busy and congenial, Jan Rivkin, a professor in the strategy unit at Harvard Business School (HBS), was clearly engaging, his enthusiasm infectious, his sense of humor unmistakable.

He started with a brief refresher video, one he’d secured from a colleague on holiday in the Bahamas. The class watched their vacationing instructor drop to his knees on the beach as the tape rolled. With a straight face, he reviewed the finer points of his recent technology-operations-management discussion with the class, drawing a series of overlapping diagrams in the sand. When done, he promptly jumped into the ocean.

The crowd loved it, but it was the last light moment. For the next hour-and-a-half the class examined whether the Spanish clothing company Zara should update its retailers’ IT infrastructure.

During the ensuing discussion and debate, Jan Rivkin, deftly prodded, questioned, and encouraged his deeply engaged class.

It was just another day at HBS — and one of its standard case-classes. The case method is the primary mode of teaching and learning at the institution, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. In honor of its centennial, the School will host a series of events on Tuesday (April 8) that will include a number of panels, a birthday celebration, and a case discussion on the future of HBS.

While it didn’t begin with the School’s inception, the revolutionary instructional approach followed shortly thereafter. But it wasn’t an entirely novel concept. The model was actually borrowed from the Harvard Law School and Christopher Columbus Langdell HLS Class of 1853 and dean of the Law School in 1870, who pioneered the technique for the examination of Harvard Law School cases.

Later, at HBS, it was Dean Wallace P. Donham, a Law School grad familiar with the technique, who pushed for the full inclusion of the case method at the Business School, where it was altered and adapted to a business perspective. Since 1921, it has been a core part of the curriculum.

The method of teaching differs greatly from the traditional lecture format, in which students take notes as the professor speaks. Instead, students are engaged in a dynamic back-and-forth with one another and their professor, discussing a topic typically pulled from a relevant, real-life business scenario and featuring a dilemma or challenge. Sometimes, once the class has examined and discussed the case, the actual CEO or president of the company in question will appear in person to explain how the situation ultimately unfolded.

The case topics are wide-ranging and include everything from the world of finance to semiconductors to sweeteners to satellite television.

Some cases offer historic reflections, employing the lessons tragedy imparts. Cases have been written, for example, about the space shuttle Columbia’s final mission in 2003 and the management decisions made prior to its fatal re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, Abraham Lincoln’s leadership during the Civil War, and the management of national intelligence prior to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Students are given an overview of the case’s material to read ahead of time. The packets, roughly 20 to 25 pages long, include a list of facts, an outline of the challenge at hand, and a history of the company or situation in text, charts, and graphs, all compiled into a neat brief.

More than 80 percent of HBS classes are built on the case method. Each week students prepare approximately 14 cases both alone and with the help of study groups. But in the end they are on their own. In class, it is up to the individual to articulate his or her argument and persuade others of its merits. A hefty 50 percent of a student’s grade is determined by class participation, so taking part in the conversation is crucial. Students raise their hands energetically, trying to get quality “air time,” as they call it. Two important unwritten rules, self-enforced by the students themselves: Never speak unless you have something valuable to contribute, and keep it brief.

The teaching technique most effectively prepares the CEOs of tomorrow for what they will inevitably face in the real world, say the professors who employ it.

“Getting a piece of material, having to sift through it, figure out what’s important, … come to a point of view, [then] come to class both prepared to argue that point of view … [and] prepared to listen and be open to others’ viewpoints — those are the skills that the business world demands, and via the case method they get to practice those in the classroom,” said Michael J. Roberts, senior lecturer of business administration and executive director of the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on case method teaching ---

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating ---

Personality, Presence, Preparation, Passion
"The 4 Properties of Powerful Teachers," by Rob Jenkins, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 16, 2016 ---

Jensen Comment
Viewing my own past over 22 years of college and 40 years of interacting with faculty colleagues it seems impossible to put a fence arround the best personality traits of great teachers. Nearly all of them in my estimation were self confident but many were also humble about it. Many were extroverted, but this is not a necessary condition. What is a mystery to me is how a few great teachers were lousy faculty colleagues but  were highly respected by their students. I recall one who never took an interest in any of his colleagues and remained aloof and distant even to members in his department. To us he almost seemed autistic. But with students he was caring, confident, and highly respected as an advisor and a teacher.

Most great teachers I knew were passionate about their discipline, but not all were what I would describe as passionate teachers. I mean think of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Based upon his record and his player's testimonials he's one of the greatest and most powerful football coaches of all time. But if you listen to him talk his presentations are better than prescription sleeping pills if you need help falling asleep. He's the perfect example of an introverted mumbling accountant low on testosterone rather than a NFL football coach.

But Belichick is arguably the most prepared coach in the history of the NFL.

In my viewpoint powerful teacher does not necessarily equate to great teacher. The first ingredient of a great teacher is expertise at the level of course being taught. I grant you that teaching at the introductory level certainly requires less expertise and more power, although expertise helps when introductory students ask tough questions. Certainly introductory teachers should have sufficient expertise to admit they are not experts on some issues. At advanced levels expertise trumps almost every other ingredient of a great teacher. However masterful experts who are unprepared for class or learning tutorials often blow it and lose the respect of ttheir students.

"Teaching Mistakes -- Do Any Of These Apply to YOU?" by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, August 26, 2013 ---

From David Gilles on the Econometrics Beat ---

Now is a good time to catch up on some Econometrics reading. Here are my suggestions for March 2016:

Jensen Comment
Especially note the Hendry download.

2016 States in the USA With the Highest and Lowest Tax Rates ---

Overall, Illinois has the highest tax rates, followed by Nebraska, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York, according to an analysis by WalletHub. Notably, tax rates are about 10.56% higher in blue states than in red states.

New York has the highest cigarette excise tax at $4.35 per pack, while Missouri has the lowest at $0.17. Pennsylvania has the highest gas tax at $0.5040 per gallon, while Alaska has the lowest at $0.1225.

Jensen Comment
Some of those most taxing states were also subject to state-worker pension frauds and enormous pension underfunding, notably Illinois, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Note the far right column that provides an adjusted cost of living index. California, Oregon, and Washington DC, for example, do fairly well on tax rates but come out horribly on the adjusted cost of living index. There are not many surprises on the high cost of living where the worst states are New York, Connecticut, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.

Palo Alto ---,_California

"Palo Alto residents who earn up to $250,000 a year to qualify for SUBSIDIZED housing in new affordable housing plan as teachers, cops and janitors are forced out of the city," by Mia Di Graaf, Daily News, March 24,  2016 ---

. . .

The city's biggest problem is that low-income workers cannot afford to live nearby, 'indicating in a large unmet need for worker housing in the City,' the plan explains.

There are far more jobs in the city than there are employed residents.

And the impact is crippling.

'Since many of Palo Alto’s workers cannot afford to live in the City, the imbalance creates negative impacts such as long commutes for workers both inside and outside the region, increased traffic congestion during peak commute periods, and increased air pollution end energy consumption,' the proposal warns.

Continued in the article

Jensen Comment
This might even include Stanford University employees who cannot get into Stanford's own overcrowded subsidized housing. Newer Stanford faculty are often temporary renters with plans to eventually move to places like Austin, Texas for affordable housing. Stanford does have a limited number of employee-owned houses on Stanford land beside the campus, but houses built in the 1970s for less than $50,000 now sell for millions of dollars even when the buyers are required to be Stanford employees.

This article begs the question of how many full-time Stanford faculty earn less than $250,000? Of course, Palo Alto might discourage Stanford employees from getting into Pala Alto's subsidized housing since the main intent is to subsidize Palo Alto municipal workers.

San Francisco has similar housing price issues, but lower-income workers in San Francisco can conveniently commute via BART from the much more populated Oakland metro area where a lot of lower-income people find affordable housing. Palo Alto is uniquely situated where there is no convenient commuting alternative. Palo Alto is surrounded by the Silicon Valley where housing prices have soared between San Jose and San Francisco. Bridges crossing the SF Bay are badly congested. Workers can commute via rail but the trains only lead to other high-priced real estate.

Hence municipal workers and other lower income workers are forced to seek housing between a rock and a hard place. I suspect a significant number are living in cars and motor homes in parking lots. Recently it was reported how a Google employee worth more than a million dollars was living in a van in Google's parking lot.

Palo Alto's proposed subsidized housing units may not be all that great. They will be exceptionally small, and there are some proposals for families to share kitchens and bathrooms.


Plato's Allegory of the Cave ---

Hear John Malkovich Read Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” Set to Music Mixed by Ric Ocasek, Yoko Ono & Sean Lennon, OMD & More ---

Two Animations of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave: One Narrated by Orson Welles, Another Made with Clay ---

Math Works Great—Until You Try to Map It Onto the World ---

In 1900, the great mathematician David Hilbert presented a list of 23 unsolved problems worth investigating in the new century. The list became a road map for the field, guiding mathematicians through unexplored regions of the mathematical universe as they ticked off problems one by one. But one of the problems was not like the others. It required connecting the mathematical universe to the real one. Quanta Magazine

Continued in article

"Is mathematics an effective way to describe the world?" by Lisa Zyga, Physorg, September 3, 2013 ---

Mathematics has been called the language of the universe. Scientists and engineers often speak of the elegance of mathematics when describing physical reality, citing examples such as π, E=mc2, and even something as simple as using abstract integers to count real-world objects. Yet while these examples demonstrate how useful math can be for us, does it mean that the physical world naturally follows the rules of mathematics as its "mother tongue," and that this mathematics has its own existence that is out there waiting to be discovered? This point of view on the nature of the relationship between mathematics and the physical world is called Platonism, but not everyone agrees with it.

Derek Abbott, Professor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at The University of Adelaide in Australia, has written a perspective piece to be published in the Proceedings of the IEEE in which he argues that mathematical Platonism is an inaccurate view of reality. Instead, he argues for the opposing viewpoint, the non-Platonist notion that mathematics is a product of the human imagination that we tailor to describe reality.

This argument is not new. In fact, Abbott estimates (through his own experiences, in an admittedly non-scientific survey) that while 80% of mathematicians lean toward a Platonist view, engineers by and large are non-Platonist. Physicists tend to be "closeted non-Platonists," he says, meaning they often appear Platonist in public. But when pressed in private, he says he can "often extract a non-Platonist confession."

So if mathematicians, engineers, and physicists can all manage to perform their work despite differences in opinion on this philosophical subject, why does the true nature of mathematics in its relation to the physical world really matter?

The reason, Abbott says, is that because when you recognize that math is just a mental construct—just an approximation of reality that has its frailties and limitations and that will break down at some point because perfect mathematical forms do not exist in the physical universe—then you can see how ineffective math is.

And that is Abbott's main point (and most controversial one): that mathematics is not exceptionally good at describing reality, and definitely not the "miracle" that some scientists have marveled at. Einstein, a mathematical non-Platonist, was one scientist who marveled at the power of mathematics. He asked, "How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought which is independent of experience, is so admirably appropriate to the objects of reality?"

In 1959, the physicist and mathematician Eugene Wigner described this problem as "the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics." In response, Abbott's paper is called "The Reasonable Ineffectiveness of Mathematics." Both viewpoints are based on the non-Platonist idea that math is a human invention. But whereas Wigner and Einstein might be considered mathematical optimists who noticed all the ways that mathematics closely describes reality, Abbott pessimistically points out that these mathematical models almost always fall short.

What exactly does "effective mathematics" look like? Abbott explains that effective mathematics provides compact, idealized representations of the inherently noisy physical world.

"Analytical mathematical expressions are a way making compact descriptions of our observations," he told "As humans, we search for this 'compression' that math gives us because we have limited brain power. Maths is effective when it delivers simple, compact expressions that we can apply with regularity to many situations. It is ineffective when it fails to deliver that elegant compactness. It is that compactness that makes it useful/practical ... if we can get that compression without sacrificing too much precision.

"I argue that there are many more cases where math is ineffective (non-compact) than when it is effective (compact). Math only has the illusion of being effective when we focus on the successful examples. But our successful examples perhaps only apply to a tiny portion of all the possible questions we could ask about the universe."

Some of the arguments in Abbott's paper are based on the ideas of the mathematician Richard W. Hamming, who in 1980 identified four reasons why mathematics should not be as effective as it seems. Although Hamming resigned himself to the idea that mathematics is unreasonably effective, Abbott shows that Hamming's reasons actually support non-Platonism given a reduced level of mathematical effectiveness.

Here are a few of Abbott's reasons for why mathematics is reasonably ineffective, which are largely based on the non-Platonist viewpoint that math is a human invention:

• Mathematics appears to be successful because we cherry-pick the problems for which we have found a way to apply mathematics. There have likely been millions of failed mathematical models, but nobody pays attention to them. ("A genius," Abbott writes, "is merely one who has a great idea, but has the common sense to keep quiet about his other thousand insane thoughts.")

• Our application of mathematics changes at different scales. For example, in the 1970s when transistor lengths were on the order of micrometers, engineers could describe transistor behavior using elegant equations. Today's submicrometer transistors involve complicated effects that the earlier models neglected, so engineers have turned to computer simulation software to model smaller transistors. A more effective formula would describe transistors at all scales, but such a compact formula does not exist.

• Although our models appear to apply to all timescales, we perhaps create descriptions biased by the length of our human lifespans. For example, we see the Sun as an energy source for our planet, but if the human lifespan were as long as the universe, perhaps the Sun would appear to be a short-lived fluctuation that rapidly brings our planet into thermal equilibrium with itself as it "blasts" into a red giant. From this perspective, the Earth is not extracting useful net energy from the Sun.

• Even counting has its limits. When counting bananas, for example, at some point the number of bananas will be so large that the gravitational pull of all the bananas draws them into a black hole. At some point, we can no longer rely on numbers to count.

• And what about the concept of integers in the first place? That is, where does one banana end and the next begin? While we think we know visually, we do not have a formal mathematical definition. To take this to its logical extreme, if humans were not solid but gaseous and lived in the clouds, counting discrete objects would not be so obvious. Thus axioms based on the notion of simple counting are not innate to our universe, but are a human construct. There is then no guarantee that the mathematical descriptions we create will be universally applicable.

For Abbott, these points and many others that he makes in his paper show that mathematics is not a miraculous discovery that fits reality with incomprehensible regularity. In the end, mathematics is a human invention that is useful, limited, and works about as well as expected.

Continued in article

Real Science versus Pseudo Science ---

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

Bob Jensen's threads on Mathematical Analytics in Plato's Cave


From the Scout Report on March 11, 2016

Viivo --- 

Whether it is Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or one of the other multifarious iterations of cloud-based storage now available, most Internet users store at least some of their data far away from their home computers. That's no problem when the data is something innocuous like a grocery list or a batch of cat photos, but what about when the files are medical records, social security information, or other sensitive materials? Then, most experts agree, it's time to look at encryption services. Enter Viivo, a free encryption service that has been on the market for more than half a decade. Viivo is available for both Mac and Windows machines, as well iOS and Android mobile devices. It supports Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, and Google Drive. Downloading the service usually takes less than a minute. From there, users can begin to upload encrypted files to the cloud based service of their choice.  

TunnelBear --- 

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a secured network that allows users to share data remotely through public networks, all the while hiding sensitive information, such as your IP address and location, from websites, hackers, and advertisers. Tunnel Bear is one of the most attractive and user friendly VPNs on the market. Download takes less than a minute. From there, a honey pot appears on your computer's toolbar. Clicking the toggle switch turns the service on and off. As long as the switch is turned "on," the service is working to keep your connection private. For added benefit, you can also choose to access the Internet from servers in countries around the world. Most users will be satisfied with the free plan, but those who need more data may pay for the more advanced plans.

Blue Origin and the Corporate Race for Space
Jeff Bezos Lifts Veil on His Rocket Company, Blue Origin

Blue Origin Going to Space by 2017

Blue Origin's Landing Is Even Cooler From the Rocket's View

Blue Origin: Quiet Plans for Spaceships

NASA: Kennedy Space Center: History of Human Space Flight

NASA Space Shuttle - Documentary

From the Scout Report on March 25, 2016

Wunderlist --- 

Created in 2010, Wunderlist remains an excellent option for managing to-do lists. Attractive and intuitive, the minimalist functionality of the app is often what wins users over. However, the fact that it's available on every major platform, allowing users to review a variety of lists (groceries, movies to watch, homework, etc.) from anywhere, is perhaps most noteworthy. Navigating the app is easy. Simply create lists, assign yourself tasks, create due dates, and search and sort through whatever you have added. Wunderlist synchronizes across devices, works well on handhelds and tablets, and is completely free.

After the Deadline --- 

After the Deadline is a simple, easy-to-use editing program that checks grammar, style, spelling, and punctuation. To start using the add-on, simply select "download" from the homepage. Then select the platform for which you would like to use After the Deadline, from a list that includes Chrome, Firefox, WordPress, and a number of other options. Once activated, the program underlines suspect words and phrases in red (for spelling errors), green (for grammatical errors), and blue (for style suggestions), offering suggestions along the way.

Artificial Intelligence Beats a World Class Go Master
In Two Moves, AlphaGo and Lee Sedol Redefined the Future

Mastering the game of Go with deep neural networks and tree search

In the Age of Google DeepMind, Do the Young Go Prodigies of Asia Have a

YouTube: DeepMind

Rage Against The Machines

IBM100: Deep Blue


Free Online Tutorials, Videos, Course Materials, and Learning Centers

Education Tutorials

Pew Research Center: Americans and Lifelong Learning ---

Free M.I.T. Course Teaches You How to Become Bill Nye & Make Great Science Videos for YouTube ---

STEM Career ---

Penguin Teacher's Guide: You Can Do a Graphic Novel (PDF) ---

Utah Education Network: Multimedia Resources for Educators and Students ---

POV: For Educators (hundreds of PBS documentaries on various topics) ---

Common Core Curriculum Unit Plans: Sociology ---

American Chemistry Society: High School Chemistry Education Resources ---

Sumanas, Inc. General Biotechnology Animations ---

Teaching Copyright ---

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's bookmarks for multiple disciplines ---

Bob Jensen's links to free courses and tutorials ---


Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Free M.I.T. Course Teaches You How to Become Bill Nye & Make Great Science Videos for YouTube ---

Compound Interest: This Week In Chemistry ---

Birds-of-Paradise Project ---

Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Asteroid Watch ---

STEM ---

Pathways to Science: STEM

STEM Career ---

National Science Foundation: Resources for STEM Education

STEMblog ---

STEM-Works ---

National STEM Centre: Technology Resources ---

Springboard to STEM ---

Change the Equation (STEM Education)

National Science Foundation: Resources for STEM Education ---

Center on Education and The Workforce ( STEM) ---

Journal of Young Investigators (mostly STEM topics in science, engineering, and technology) ---

STEM Planet ---

The Space Place ---

NASA Women of STEM --- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: Education for Global Leadership ---

National Science Foundation: Resources for STEM Education ---

The Smart Grid For Institutions of Higher Education And The Students They Serve (career in science inspirations and preparation) ---

Salvadori Center [STEM Education Resources] --- http://www.salvadori.o

New York State STEM Education Collaborative

Afterschool Alliance: Afterschool and STEM ---

I-STEM ---

ISTEM: Lesson Plans ---

Office of Science Education - LifeWorks ---

EuroStemCell ---

POV: For Educators (hundreds of documentarys on various topics) ---

American Chemistry Society: High School Chemistry Education Resources ---

Sumanas, Inc. General Biotechnology Animations ---

Journal of Probiotics & Health ---

From the Scout Report on March 11, 2016

Blue Origin and the Corporate Race for Space
Jeff Bezos Lifts Veil on His Rocket Company, Blue Origin

Blue Origin Going to Space by 2017

Blue Origin's Landing Is Even Cooler From the Rocket's View

Blue Origin: Quiet Plans for Spaceships

NASA: Kennedy Space Center: History of Human Space Flight

NASA Space Shuttle - Documentary

Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at --

Bob Jensen's links to free courses and tutorials ---

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Phenomenology --- ---

POV: For Educators (hundreds of PBS documentaries on various topics) ---

Common Core Curriculum Unit Plans: Sociology ---

Vela Magazine (female journalism) ---

Adam Smith in Glasgow ---

National Resources Defense Council: Environmental Justice ---

United Nations Environment Programme: Resources and Data ---

1963: The Struggle for Civil Rights ---

Bob Jensen's threads on Economics, Anthropology, Social Sciences, and Philosophy tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's links to free courses and tutorials ---

Law and Legal Studies

National Resources Defense Council: Environmental Justice ---

Sea of Liberty (Thomas Jefferson's Ideas on Liberty) ---

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) ---

Fair Use ---

Picking The Locks: Redefining Copyright Law In The Digital Age ---

Ultimate Guide to Copyright for Students ---

"Google Gets Another Win in Book-Scanning Court Challenge," Andy Thomason, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 16, 2015 ---

Jensen Comment
It's a bit confusing regarding how scanned Google books can be used in the many nations that do not have a Fair Use Safe Harbor used to justify Google book scanning in the USA.


From the Scout Report on March 18, 2016

Teaching Copyright

When California passed a law in 2006 requiring schools that accept
technology funding to educate their students about copyright, plagiarism,
and Internet safety, many states considered following suit. However, to
date there are few online curricula that help educators to present
copyright law in a way that is both balanced and thought provoking. Enter
Teaching Copyright, which boasts five lessons that seek to teach students
the basics of copyright while encouraging their creativity and curiosity.
Lessons cover such topics as copyright and the rewards of innovation, the
intricacies of fair use, free speech, public domain, and a review of what
students already know. The last lesson takes students through an
entertaining and educational mock trial that helps them master the
principles of fair use. [CNH]


2. Library of Congress: Timeline of Copyright Milestones

Prior to the Statute of Anne, which was passed in England on April 10,
1710, the rights of authors and publishers to control the copying and
distribution of their work went largely unacknowledged. However, after that
landmark law, a number of nations instituted copyright laws similar to the
ones we know today, including laws passed in the post-Revolutionary War
United States. On this page from the Library of Congress, readers will find
an excellent timeline of copyright milestones, from the age of scribes
prior to the invention of the printing press in the 15th century to the age
of the Internet. Along the way they may enjoy perusing entries about the
Universal Copyright Convention, held in Geneva, Switzerland in 1952, the
amending copyright laws in 1980 to include computer programs, and the 1998
law that extended copyright protection to the life of an author plus 70
years after the author's death. Indeed, this excellent compilation helps
take "the mystery out of copyright," and offers a comprehensive look at
copyright law through the ages. [CNH]


3. Common Sense Media: Copyright and Fair Use Animation

This three-minute video about copyright and fair use, which was produced by
Common Sense Media and intended for use by secondary teachers, provides an
excellent overview of basic concepts related to copyright law. For example,
the video offers five tips for using copyrighted Internet content,
including: check who owns it, get permission to use it, give credit to the
creator, buy it (if necessary), and use it responsibly. The video also
explains that content can be used fairly when the intention is related to
schoolwork and education, news reporting, criticizing or commenting, and
comedy or parody, but that the work must not be for profit and only small
bits of it can be presented. In addition to the short animation, the site
provides a helpful lesson plan called "Copyrights and Wrongs," as well as a
Video Discussion Guide to help students engage with the material. [CNH]


4. Copyright in Education Flowchart

"Can I use material I found online for teaching or school work?" This
illuminating infographic answers the question in a step-by-step guide,
identifying what material can - and cannot - be used for teaching or school
purposes. For example, the flowchart suggests that readers who need media
to present their research or to assist with teaching might first consider
creating their own media. If they can't do that, they might search for
Public Domain materials. If they can't find what they're looking for in the
public domain, they might search for Creative Commons. If that doesn't
work, they can then think about whether they might claim Fair Use. The
infographic also includes a section on licensing one's own media, a section
on how to think about whether it might be feasible to claim fair use, and
instructions for how to ethically and legally claim fair use in certain
circumstances. [CNH]


5. Fair Use Evaluator

In the United States, use of copyrighted material is considered fair when
it is done for a limited and transformative purpose. Knowing what is
determined fair use and what isn't, however, is not always as easy as it
sounds. The Fair Use Evaluator, which was created by the American Library
Association's Office for Information Technology Policy, helps readers
through the process of deciding what is and isn't fair use under the U.S.
Copyright Code. To use the evaluator, select "Make a Fair Use Evaluation."
The program will then take readers through five steps, including Getting
Started, The Fair Use Evaluator, Provide Additional Information, Get a Hard
or Electronic Copy, and How to Use Your Analysis. In addition, on the
homepage readers may also select Learn More About Fair Use, for basic
information about fair use guidelines. As an interactive tool, the
Evaluator is a helpful resource for anyone unsure about fairness of use.


6. The United States Copyright Office

The United States Copyright Office website virtually teems with information
about the multifarious intricacies and real world practicalities of
copyright law. Here readers may Register a Copyright, Record a Document,
Search Records, and Learn About Statutory Licensing. They may also engage
in various Tutorials that are designed to help users navigate the site,
such as an excellent Copyright Search Tutorial, which may be viewed in
PowerPoint, Webpage, PDF, and OpenDocument formats. Beginners to the wide
world of Copyright may benefit from the answers found in the Frequently
Asked Questions section, where they can find explanations of such
quandaries as "What is Copyright?" and "When is my work protected?" Finally
the Law and Policy page includes a range of services, including sections
dedicate to Copyright Law, Regulations, and Policy Reports, among many
others. Interested readers may also find the Fair Use Index especially
useful as it allows users to search jurisdictions and categories for
particular cases and judicial decisions. [CNH]


7. NYPL: Public Domain Collections

According to, "A work of authorship is in the 'public domain'
if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the
requirements for copyright protection." Works in the public domain may be
used free of charge for any purpose. Amazingly, the New York Public Library
has recently placed more than 180,000 of the items in their Digital
Collections in the public domain. Readers may like to explore several tools
and projects designed to inspire use of the public domain resources. These
include Visualize the Public Domain, where readers may scout the public
domain resources by century, genre, collection, or color; Discover the
Collections, where experts post blog entries inviting users to use the
collections in interesting ways; and a series of Public Domain Remixes, in
which NYPL staff have used public domain materials to create groundbreaking
games and projects. In addition, readers may use the excellent search
function to explore the digital collections and discover for themselves
what might be useful. [CNH]


===== Intellectual Property and Licensing ===

8. WIPO: What is Intellectual Property?

As this excellent site from the World Intellectual Property Organization
(WIPO) so succinctly explains, intellectual property (IP) refers to
creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works;
designs; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce. Types of IP
include Copyright, Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Designs, and
Geographical Indications. As a whole, the WIPO website is broadly
informative and readers will find a number of excellent Publications. For
example, the freely downloadable PDF "What is IP?" contains an introduction
and pithy chapters on the subjects of patents, trademarks, industrial
design, and geographical indications, as well as a chapter dedicated to
copyright and related rights. For a more comprehensive treatment, readers
will also find the freely downloadable "WIPO Intellectual Property
Handbook." [CNH]


9. Intellectual Property Law: Why Should I Care?

This entertaining site from the UCLA Library helps readers understand the
elaborate case law of intellectual property through illustrations, quizzes,
and colorful text boxes. After perusing the homepage, readers may like to
explore the various sections of the site. The first, Intellectual Property,
includes 15 subsections that explain the basics of copyright, fair use,
patents, trademarks, and other related topics before offering a quiz to
help readers maximize their learning. Need a File, Share a File delves into
copyright as related to the ever more common practice of file sharing,
while Citing and Documenting Sources provides an excellent primer on how to
avoid plagiarism and how to properly cite various types of media. For
readers working in a college context, this sterling resource from UCLA
libraries can provide students and professors with everything they need to
know about intellectual property in academia. [CNH]


10. Ten Simple Rules to Protect Your Intellectual Property

Scientists of all kinds will benefit from reading this excellent article
from the open access journal, PLoS: Computational Biology. The authors,
each of whom is well established in his field, offer ten simple rules that
might help researchers protect their intellectual property. These include
tips such as: Get Professional Help, Know Your (Intellectual Property)
Rights, Think about Why You Want IP, Be Realistic about What You Can, and
Cannot, Protect, Keep Your Idea Secret until You Have Filed a Patent
Application, and others. Each rule is accompanied by several explanatory
paragraphs that elucidate and clarify the points, making for an
exceptionally useful list of advice for scientists that would like to
protect their innovative work and develop it for the next phase of inquiry
and results.[CNH]


11. Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus (PDF)

This 76-page report prepared by the Economics and Statistics Administration
and the United States Patent and Trademark Office makes the case that, far
from being secondary to the task, trademarks and other intellectual
property (IP) rights provide the very bedrock by which the United States
expands its economy and makes its place in the world. Key findings of the
report include the fact that the U.S. economy as a whole relies on some
form of IP, because nearly every industry either produces or uses
intellectual property. The report also identifies 75 industries that are
particularly IP-intensive, and these industries accounted for approximately
27 million jobs and almost 19 percent of employment in the year 2010. The
report also includes distinct sections dedicated to patents, trademarks,
copyrights, and employment, each of which are fact filled and educational
in their own right. [CNH]


12. Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a nonprofit that offers free legal tools to creative
people who would like to share their work under specified conditions. On
the site, readers may like to start by searching the commons, which they
can do using the convenient search feature. A search turns up results from
the OpenClipArt library, Google, Wikimedia Commons, SoundCloud, and other
sources - all of it pre-approved for legal use. The site also features a
number of compelling features for users who would like to license their own
content. For example, under Licenses, users will find categories such as
About the Licenses, Choose a License, and Things to know before licensing
to understand available licensing options for particular products. On the
other hand, readers who would like to use the work of others may also read
about Best practices for attribution and Getting permission. Finally, the
Creative Commons blog is a regularly updated source of information about
licensing, public domain work, and the various artists and others that use
Creative Commons to license their work. [CNH]


13. Foter Blog: How To Attribute Creative Commons Photos

With more than 227 million images available for legal use on its site,
Creative Commons is a phenomenal resource for bloggers, educators, web
designers, and many others working in digital images. However, according to
the researchers at Foter Blog, more than 90 percent of Creative Commons
photos are not attributed at all. Of those that are attributed, less than
10 percent are attributed properly. This surprisingly clear infographic
provides concise directions for how, exactly, to attribute Creative Commons
content. First, the infographic explains what a Creative Commons license is
and what it allows users to do. Then it explains the different conditions
(Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivative Works, and Share Alike) and
what they mean. Finally, the graphic offers some statistics on the most
popular licenses and categories before reviewing how users should attribute
photos, using a simple four-step process that includes citing the author,
the title of the work, the license type, and the copyright notices. For
readers who would like to understand how to properly attribute Creative
Commons content, this infographic is a must see. [CNH]


14. YouTube: A Shared Culture

This snappy and succinct 3-minute video offers readers a concise
explanation of what Creative Commons is, what it does, and how artists,
corporations, musicians, bloggers, and anyone else might make use of it.
Put simply, according the video, Creative Commons is like a public park:
anyone can use a public park, as long as they follow certain guidelines.
Likewise, anyone can use the materials on the Creative Commons website, as
long as they correctly attribute the work, based on the Creative Commons
licensing system. In addition, artists and others who would like to share
their work may choose exactly how they would like it to be used. For
example, can it be used for commercial purposes, or not? Or, can people use
it to make derivative work? Or, do the users need to share alike? Creative
Commons seeks to build a global community of shared ideas, and this video
explains the process. [CNH]


15. Finding Public Domain & Creative Commons Media

Subject matter experts at the Harvard Law School Library have compiled over
130 Research Guides  to assist students and other library patrons with
their research initiatives. Ranging in topic from Animal Law to Mergers &
Acquisitions to Visualization Tools, there are numerous resources to be
explored. One particular guide of note is the Public Domain and Creative
Commons Media Finder. This handy reference was crafted by Research
Librarian Meg Kribble and will help interested readers locate and correctly
attribute public domain and Creative Commons media for personal and
academic use. To start, the guide breaks down the difference between the
public domain and Creative Commons. Then, the guide links to a helpful
three-minute video that explains the Creative Commons process and offers an
infographic detailing the various types of Creative Commons licenses.
Perhaps most helpful, are the  annotated listings of public domain and
Creative Commons Web resources. This thorough compilation is sure to make
it easy to find Images, Audio Content, and Video Content for a variety of
projects and presentations. [CBD]


Bob Jensen's threads on the dreaded DMCA and Fair Use ---

Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at
Scroll down to "Law"

Math Tutorials

Scientists Discover That James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake Has an Amazingly Mathematical “Multifractal” Structure ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's links to free courses and tutorials ---

History Tutorials

POV: For Educators (hundreds of documentarys on various topics) ---

edwired (American History Blog, Education History) ---

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Phenomenology ---

The Frick Collection: Virtual Tour ---

The Frick Collection: Photoarchive ---

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Puts Online 65,000 Works of Modern Art ---

Beauty, Virtue, & Vice: Images of Women in Nineteenth-Century American Prints ---

The People Who Built the Atomic Bomb ---

Atomic Energy & Nuclear History Learning Curriculum ---

C-Span: American Writers ---

Sea of Liberty (Thomas Jefferson's Ideas on Liberty) ---

Wilson Center Digital Archive: Vietnam War ---

USGS Historical Topographical Map Explorer ---

Adam Smith in Glasgow ---

Digital Archives of Norway ---

A Curated Collection of Vintage Japanese Magazine Covers (1913-46) ---

Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History ---

Alcohol, Temperance & Prohibition

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ---

Library of Congress: Themed Resources: Baseball ---

Baseball and Jackie Robinson ---

1963: The Struggle for Civil Rights ---

William James on Attention, Multitasking, and the Habit ---

Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at
Also see  

Bob Jensen's links to free courses and tutorials ---

Language Tutorials

Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at

Music Tutorials

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

Writing Tutorials

C-Span: American Writers ---

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at

Bob Jensen's threads on medicine ---

Updates from WebMD ---

March 15, 2016

March 16, 2016

March 17, 2016

March 18, 2016

March 20, 2016

March 21, 2016

March 22, 2016

March 23, 2016

March 24, 2016

March 25, 2016

March 26, 2016

March 28, 2016


"Controlling Diabetes with a Skin Patch," by David Talbut, MIT's Technology Review, March 22, 2016 ---

Attempting to free people with diabetes from frequent finger-pricks and drug injections, researchers have created an electronic skin patch that senses excess glucose in sweat and automatically administers drugs by heating up microneedles that penetrate the skin.

Continued in article

Journal of Probiotics & Health ---

We're Not Talking Politics Here
The FDA Looks to Crack Down on Manure (Again) ---
What you gonna do with this stuff Leroy?

An Ode To The Rice Cooker, The Smartest Kitchen Appliance I’ve Ever Owned ---

Humor March 19-29, 2016

How to Sound Smart in a TED Talk: A Funny Primer by Saturday Night Live‘s Will Stephen ---

Larry David returned to 'Saturday Night Live' to reprise his role as Bernie Sanders ---

he Daily Show skewered all of Hillary Clinton’s recent gaffes. It’s hard to watch ---

15 jokes that only smart people will truly appreciate ---

Humor February  2016 ---

Humor January  2016 ---

Humor December 1-31,  2015 ---

Humor November 1-30,  2015 ---

Humor October 1-31,  2015 ---

Humor September 1-30,  2015 ---

Humor August 1-31,  2015 ---

Humor July 1-31,  2015 ---

Humor June 1-30,  2015 ---

Humor May 1-31,  2015 ---

Humor April 1-30, 2015 ---

Humor March 1-31, 2015 ---

Humor February 1-28, 2015 ---

Humor January 1-31, 2015 ---


Tidbits Archives ---

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Update in 2014
20-Year Sugar Hill Master Plan ---

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

Online Distance Education Training and Education ---
For-Profit Universities Operating in the Gray Zone of Fraud  (College, Inc.) ---

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 ---
Facts about the earth in real time ---

Interesting Online Clock and Calendar ---
Time by Time Zones ---
Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) ---
         Also see
Facts about population growth (video) ---
Projected U.S. Population Growth ---
Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- 
Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons ---
Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.

Free (updated) Basic Accounting Textbook --- search for Hoyle at

CPA Examination ---
Free CPA Examination Review Course Courtesy of Joe Hoyle ---

Rick Lillie's education, learning, and technology blog is at

Accounting News, Blogs, Listservs, and Social Networking ---

Bob Jensen's Threads --- 
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

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 ---

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

Accounting program news items for colleges are posted at
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
AECM (Educators)
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)  (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)
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.
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 
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 ---

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)

I found another listserve that is exceptional -

CalCPA maintains  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 and I believe in top right corner is Join Group. Click on it and answer the few questions and in the comment box say you are a CPA or attorney, whichever you are and I will get the request to join.

Be aware that we run on the average 30 or move emails per day. I encourage people to set up a folder for just the emails from this listserve and then via a rule or filter send them to that folder instead of having them be in your inbox. Thus you can read them when you want and it will not fill up the inbox when you are looking for client emails etc.

We currently have about 830 CPAs and attorneys nationwide but mainly in California.... ]

Please encourage your members to join our listserve.

If any questions let me know.

Hemet, CA
Moderator TaxTalk





Many useful accounting sites (scroll down) ---


Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

Some Accounting History Sites

Bob Jensen's Accounting History in a Nutshell and Links ---

Accounting History Libraries at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) ---
The above libraries include international accounting history.
The above libraries include film and video historical collections.

MAAW Knowledge Portal for Management and Accounting ---

Academy of Accounting Historians and the Accounting Historians Journal ---

Sage Accounting History ---

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 ---
Part II covering years 1974-2003 published in February 2005 --- 

A nice timeline of accounting history ---

From Texas A&M University
Accounting History Outline ---

Bob Jensen's timeline of derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting ---

History of Fraud in America ---
Also see

Bob Jensen's Threads ---

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

All my online pictures ---


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586
Phone:  603-823-8482