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 ---
The enormous difference between college education in Europe versus the USA is
that in Europe going to college is a competitive process based upon academic
rigor and less than half of the Tier 2 graduates are allowed into colleges. In
the USA, especially under the initiatives of Sanders and Hillary Clinton,
college will be free to almost everybody and colleges wanting the money will
admit students that would never get into college in Europe. What college
education in the USA will become is like a kindergarten pet competition. Every
person will get a top blue ribbon (diploma), and nobody will be denied
Already the median college
grade in the USA is an A-. It can go higher. Soon the median grade will be an A+
How many statisticians does it
take to ensure at least a 50 percent chance of a
disagreement about p-values? According to a
tongue-in-cheek assessment by statistician
George Cobb of Mount Holyoke College,
the answer is two … or one. So
it’s no surprise that when the American Statistical
Association gathered 26 experts to develop a consensus
statement on statistical significance and p-values, the
discussion quickly became heated.
It may sound crazy to get
indignant over a scientific term that few lay people
have even heard of, but the consequences matter. The
misuse of the p-value can drive bad science (there was
no disagreement over that), and the consensus project
was spurred by a growing worry that in some scientific
fields, p-values have become a litmus test for deciding
which studies are worthy of publication. As a result,
research that produces p-values that surpass an
arbitrary threshold are more likely to be published,
while studies with greater or equal scientific
importance may remain in the file drawer, unseen by the
“The p-value was never intended
to be a substitute for scientific reasoning,” the ASA’s
executive director, Ron Wasserstein, said in a press
release. On that point, the consensus committee members
agreed, but statisticians have deep philosophical
about the proper way to approach inference and
statistics, and “this was taken as a battleground for
those different views,” said
Steven Goodman, co-director of
Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford.
Much of the dispute centered
around technical arguments
over frequentist versus Bayesian methods
and possible alternatives or supplements to p-values.
“There were huge differences, including
profoundly different views about the core problems and
practices in need of reform,” Goodman said. “People were
apoplectic over it.”
The group debated and discussed
the issues for more than a year before finally producing
a statement they could all sign. They released
that consensus statement on Monday,
20 additional commentaries
from members of the committee. The ASA statement is
intended to address the misuse of p-values and promote a
better understanding of them among researchers and
science writers, and it marks the first time the
association has taken an official position on a matter
of statistical practice. The statement outlines some
fundamental principles regarding p-values.
Among the committee’s tasks:
Selecting a definition of the p-value that
nonstatisticians could understand. They eventually
settled on this: “Informally, a p-value is the
probability under a specified statistical model that a
statistical summary of the data (for example, the sample
mean difference between two compared groups) would be
equal to or more extreme than its observed value.” That
definition is about as clear as mud (I stand by my
even scientists can’t easily explain p-values),
but the rest of the statement and the ideas it presents
are far more accessible.
One of the most important
messages is that the p-value cannot tell you if your
hypothesis is correct. Instead, it’s the probability of
your data given your hypothesis. That sounds
tantalizingly similar to “the probability of your
hypothesis given your data,” but they’re not the same
Stephen Senn, a
biostatistician at the Luxembourg Institute of Health.
To understand why, consider this example. “Is the pope
Catholic? The answer is yes,” said Senn. “Is a Catholic
the pope? The answer is probably not. If you change the
order, the statement doesn’t survive.”
A common misconception among
nonstatisticians is that p-values can tell you the
probability that a result occurred by chance. This
interpretation is dead wrong, but you see it
again. The p-value only tells
you something about the probability of seeing your
results given a particular hypothetical explanation — it
cannot tell you the probability that the results are
true or whether they’re due to random chance. The ASA
statement’s Principle No. 2: “P-values do not measure
the probability that the studied hypothesis is true, or
the probability that the data were produced by random
Nor can a p-value tell you the
size of an effect, the strength of the evidence or the
importance of a result. Yet despite all these
limitations, p-values are often used as a way to
separate true findings from spurious ones, and that
creates perverse incentives. When the goal shifts from
seeking the truth to obtaining a p-value that clears an
arbitrary threshold (0.05 or less is considered
“statistically significant” in many fields), researchers
tend to fish around in their data and keep trying
different analyses until they find something with the
right p-value, as you can see for yourself in
a p-hacking tool we built last year.
In the 1948 disastrous polling forecasts, that Thomas Dewey would defeat
Harry Truman in the USA Presidential race, blame was put on ignoring that so
many voters did not own telephones in those days. Voters who could not afford
phones were more likely to vote for Truman.
Now the question seems to be on the difference between telephone polling and
An added problem in 21st Century telephone polling is that people are very hard
to reach via their telephones.
There's an added problem in both telephone and Internet polling in that voters
are reluctant to give answers in polls in fear about personal security.
I won't answer political polls in fear of being spammed afterwards.
One thing I've noticed is that SSRN is becoming more of a for-profit journal
table of contents service where abstracts of published articles are put on SSRN
without allowing free access to the articles themselves. However, we never had
free access to most of those articles in the first place, so this is a good
feature of SSRN.
This is not a tale of a person without a college education astounding scientific
scholars. In this case that might have been next to impossible given the degree
of knowledge necessary to advance knowledge in such a specialized discipline.
Faculty hired 5-7 years ago were told
explicitly that a couple of peer-reviewed articles and a book
contract with a well-respected academic press was sufficient for
tenure. I often used the word “humane” to describe the requirements
for tenure, in that they rewarded both scholarship of a high caliber
and teaching prowess. Dartmouth had a reputation as a place where
work-life balance was valued, and the inconveniences associated with
its rural location were offset by the benefits of raising children
within a close-knit community.
Professors hired at that time are now
coming up for tenure, having been mentored by department members
whose curriculum vitae were far less impressive when they initially
made associate. Some of my peers were pressured into service
commitments that would have no bearing on tenure, and encouraged to
take on projects (writing for anthologies and organizing
conferences, for example) that would be time-consuming yet not lead
to professional advancement. Recent tenure decisions have many
members of my cohort scrambling for the exits—going on the market
and taking on visiting appointments elsewhere—now that they
understand that they were given a false impression of how different
aspects of their trajectories would be evaluated.
I hate to say this, but many younger
colleagues express regret at having agonized over their lesson plans
and expended so much effort on honing their skills as classroom
instructors, when a talent for teaching simply does not factor into
tenure decisions. Phil Hanlon’s recent remarks on education only
confirm what we already know, that Dartmouth is moving toward a
corporate state university model wherein professors are retained for
their “productivity”—quantity of publication over quality—and
ability to bring in large grants, while underpaid adjuncts teach
The standalone graduate school announced in
October cements Dartmouth’s movement in this direction, since
teaching experience is mandatory for professionalization, and what
are graduate students but an easily exploitable workforce?
I hope readers appreciate this carefully
thought through and well expressed opinion. That Phil has tightened up
tenure standards is a good thing — we have noted in the past that Jim
Wright and his gang often granted tenure for political loyalty and
social ties (to people who will be in Hanover for 30+ years stuck at the
associate professor level) — but Phil’s search for prestige has gone too
far: the word is out there now among tenure-track faculty members that
Phil and Carolyn are looking only for prestige and publications, and
teaching and mentoring students count for little or nothing.
Continued in article
I think this article is probably a bit too broad brush. Firstly, I don't think
you can paint quite such a broad brush across all schools and departments of a
power university like Dartmouth. Secondly, I don't think you can paint such a
broad brush across all tenure cases.
For example, the medical school is probably an outlier that places more value
on clinical reputation within the medical school than external reputation. It
would be very hard expensive to hang on to an extremely skillful surgeon with a
national or international reputation. Perhaps the medical school must suffice
with more emphasis on internal and opposed to external reputation.
Prestigious universities like Dartmouth tend to place high value on a
combination of internal and external reputation. A tenure candidate with an
extremely high reputation for teaching across various departments is not exactly
like a tenure case for a lesser-known teacher. A strong researcher with a
miserable teaching reputation across various departments is not exactly like a
strong researcher with a better (not necessarily) stellar teachingt reputation.
Also Dartmouth is not exactly immune from diversity and affirmative action
concerns. For example Dartmouth has a well-funded program to attract native
American students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. I can't imagine
denying tenure to a native American tenure candidate with a strong teaching
reputation who has slightly fewer hits in top journals than a white male tenure
Having said this I do know that times have changed in prestigious schools of
business. Four decades ago some Harvard Business School faculty were not
necessarily known for their research publications in top business academic
journals. They sometimes built their reputations of their writings of textbooks
and teaching case books where they were also known for their consulting in the
boardrooms of huge multinational business firms. Reputation among corporate CEOs
trumped having ten multivariate regression studies in The Accounting Review
or the Journal of Marketing Research.
Those days have changed somewhat in that the 21st
Century new tenure awards at prestigious universities go to rising faculty stars
with reputations in consulting who also have their names on 20 or more business
research journal where their names are alongside three or more co-authors who
maybe did a lot of the data mining in each published paper.
Having said this, I would be very shocked if the Harvard Business School or
Tuck School of Business (at Dartmouth) put a lousy teacher in front of an MBA
class. I do know of one lousy teacher in the Harvard Business School who was a
renowned international writer of cases, but I don't think the HBS put him in
front of MBA students, at least not in front of the typically large classes in
the MBA program at Harvard. He has since left Harvard. Actually I don't hear
anything about him anymore, but I'm told he's not yet fully retired. I think he
got tenure at Harvard when tenure hurdles were different than they are in the
21st Century. Now he would have to be a stellar teacher with 20 or more
published multiple regression studies (co-authored of course).
Harvard by the way has a ten-year tenure track, unlike most universities that
follow the traditional AAUP seven-year track.
From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on July
Amazon enters student-loan business Amazon.com Inc. is
stepping into the student-loan marketplace. The online retailer has entered
into a partnership with San Francisco lender Wells Fargo & Co. in
which the bank’s student-lending arm will offer interest-rate discounts to
select Amazon shoppers. Amazon said this is the first time members of the
company’s “Prime Student” service are receiving a student-loan offer by a
lender through its site since that service was launched in 2010. The
discount will be offered both to students who want college loans and those
who want to refinance. The offer also represents the latest effort among
private student lenders to stand out by discounting.
From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on July
Tesla’s Musk’s ambitious vision
Vox takes a hard look at Tesla Motors Inc.
founder Elon Musk’s bold new vision, unveiled this week, which Vox calls
“ridiculously ambitious.” By merging it with his other firm, SolarCity
Corp., he can offer integrated in-home power systems; self-driving
trucks and buses could help the environment, traffic and commerce; the
ability for Tesla owners to rent their cars when not in use could change
auto sales plus take a bite out of Uber Technologies Inc. But Mr.
Musk is trying to do all of this at once while achieving the heady goals he
had already set. Then again, he has a shot, given his track record and
investor thirst for game-changing ideas.
This article is yet another example of how to mislead with statistics. Making
money in land parcels and homes is exactly like making money in the stock market
--- you've got to have picked the right ones to put into your portfolio. I sold
an Iowa farm that more than doubled in value after I sold it. One reason was the
idiotic decision to subsidize corn farmers by requiring upwards of 10% corn
ethanol in every gallon of gas. North Dakota farmers made a lot of money selling
oil rights. Owners of condos in Manhattan and San Francisco made small fortunes
on tiny bits of property. Houses purchased for less than $50,000 in 1980 in
Silicon Valley may be worth more than $5 million in 2016.
But what looks like good deals in stocks and real estate in hindsight is just
that --- hindsight! There are no guarantees of high returns without taking risks
unless you are in the Mafia where you can force your own returns. Expectations
of higher returns means acquiring more financial risk for most of us.
There are some serious advantages to investing as much as you can in a home
when you anticipate owning it for more than 10 years. Firstly, you get the added
non-financial enjoyment of living in a wonderful home. Secondly, there are some
tax breaks for the the 50% of taxpayers that really pay taxes. But there are a
drawbacks. Property taxes are the primary way the USA funds its K-12 schools as
well as pay for county and municipal services. In most instances growth rates
for property taxes outpaced the capital gains since the real estate bubble burst
There are also some wonderful instances where owners have successful rental
properties such as owning a duplex where the rent from one half of the house
pays all the expenses of the entire house. A friend of mine, Tom Selling, says
that when he moved from Dartmouth it was a good decision to continue to rent his
condo rather than sell it at the time. That is probably true of nearly all
rental property close to college campuses if the property was purchased before
the real estate bubble burst in 2007. There are some tax breaks of rental
housing such as depreciation and maintenance expense write-offs. For example,
half the cost of the roof on a duplex might be expensed.
Don't get carried away investing in land that has no serious annual cash
inflow. Of course there are exceptions, but in general the taxes and maintenance
fees (e.g., mowing) plus the eventual cost of selling the land take all the fun
out of trying to eventually make a profit.
With bank savings deposits earning virtually zero interest it's tempting to
take on more financial risks with your savings. Each investor is unique. I
advise getting "free" advice from reputable mutual funds like Vanguard or
Fidelity or TIAA. I don't advise paying dearly for it at your local investment
advisor service. Find out the range of alternatives from long-term tax exempt
mutual funds to diversified real estate fund to a variety of long-term and short
term equity alternatives. Learn enough to become your own adviser.
There are of course other considerations such as surriculum specialties and
deficiencies. For example, a student who wants to major in business as an
undergraduate would not choose most of the Ivy League schools or Stanford. A
student wanting to become a CPA or an engineer would not choose some of the
top-ranked universities. The same is true for other careers such as nursing,
phamacy, forestry, etc.
Kuhn, the well-known physicist, philosopher and historian of science, was
born 94 years ago today. He went on to become an important and broad-ranging
thinker, and one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century.
1962 book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, transformed the
philosophy of science and changed the way many scientists think about their
work. But his influence extended well beyond the academy: The book was
widely read — and seeped into popular culture. One measure of his influence
is the widespread use of the term "paradigm shift," which he introduced in
articulating his views about how science changes over time.
Inspired, in part, by the theories of psychologist Jean Piaget, who saw
children's development as a series of discrete stages marked by periods of
transition, Kuhn posited two kinds of scientific change: incremental
developments in the course of what he called "normal science," and
scientific revolutions that punctuate these more stable periods. He
suggested that scientific revolutions are not a matter of incremental
advance; they involve "paradigm shifts."
Talk of paradigms and paradigm shifts has since become
commonplace — not only in science, but also in
and beyond. In a
at The Globe and Mail, Robert Fulford describes paradigm as "a
crossover hit: It moved nimbly from science to culture to sports to
what, exactly, is a paradigm shift? Or, for that matter, a paradigm?
Merriam-Webster dictionary offers the following:
a model or pattern for something that may be copied
a theory or a group of ideas about how something should be done, made,
or thought about
paradigm shift is defined as "an important change
that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is
replaced by a new and different way."
than 50 years after Kuhn's famous book, these definitions may seem intuitive
rather than technical. But do they capture what Kuhn actually had in mind in
developing an account of scientific change?
It turns out this question is hard to answer — not
because paradigm has an especially technical or obscure definition, but
because it has many. In a
published in 1970, Margaret Masterson presented a careful reading of Kuhn's
1962 book. She identified 21 distinct senses in which Kuhn used the
term paradigm. (That's right: 21.)
Consider a few examples.
a paradigm could refer to a special kind of achievement. Masterson
quotes Kuhn, who introduces a paradigm as a textbook or classic example that
is "sufficiently unprecedented to attract an enduring group of adherents
away from competing modes of scientific activity," but that is
simultaneously "sufficiently open-ended to leave all sorts of problems for
the redefined group of practitioners to resolve." Writes Kuhn: "Achievements
that share these two characteristics I shall henceforth refer to as
other parts of the text, paradigms cover more ground. Paradigms can offer
general epistemological viewpoints, like the "philosophical paradigm
initiated by Descartes," or define a broad sweep of reality, as when
"Paradigms determine large areas of experience at the same time."
this bounty of related uses, Masterson asks a provocative question:
Is there, philosophically speaking, anything
definite or general about the notion of a paradigm which Kuhn is trying
to make clear? Or is he just a historian-poet describing different
happenings which have occurred in the course of the history of science,
and referring to them all by using the same word "paradigm"?
Continued in article
Ask your accounting theory students if there have been any paradigm shifts in
Were these shifts tided to the paradigm shifts in finance?
It's well known that media rankings (think US News) can affect the quality
and number of applications to a college or university.
Harvard Study: Articles about a scandal (e.g., academic cheating, rape,
protest gone bad, racial incident, etc.) can have a similar effect ---
In recent years, there have been a number of high
profile scandals on college campuses, ranging from cheating to hazing to
rape. With so much information regarding a college’s academic and
non-academic attributes available to students, how do these scandals affect
their applications? To investigate, we construct a dataset of scandals at
the top 100 U.S. universities between 2001 and 2013. Scandals with a high
level of media coverage significantly reduce applications. For example, a
scandal covered in a long-form news article leads to a ten percent drop in
applications the following year. This is roughly the same as the impact on
applications of dropping ten spots in the U.S. News and World Report college
rankings. Moreover, colleges react to scandals – the probability of another
incident in the subsequent years falls – but this effect dissipates within
five years. Combined, these results suggest important demand side and supply
side responses to incidents with negative media coverage.
Impacts are probably asymetric. The public expects a lot of good news articles,
including those released by a college's Public Relations Department. The good
news articles on average have less impact than bad news articles.
The retailer is facing widespread backlash for two
unrelated incidents at its stores that have outraged thousands of customers.
On Thursday, a transgender woman was arrested and
charged with taking pictures of an 18-year-old woman changing clothes in a
fitting room at a Target store in Idaho.
The incident has renewed outrage among opponents of
Target's new policy allowing customers to use the restroom or fitting room
that matches their gender identity.
The policy's critics had previously warned that it
posed a "danger to wives and daughters" and is "exactly how sexual predators
get access to their victims."
Continued in article
Among things aside from the current boycott by upwards of a million Target
customers there are accounting issues caused by the gender-neutral policy of
Target with respect to bathrooms and fitting rooms. That issue is how to report
the liability for possibly tens of millions of dollars needed to totally
privatize each bathroom stall and fitting room. Fitting room renovation probably
only entails ceiling to wall partionings and locks on the doors. But bathroom
renovations entail putting in private bathrooms with each having it's own sink
--- that could be really costly for Target.
The same enormous liability (much bigger than for Target) is coming to
colleges and universities that will need to do things to help make more
difficult to take pictures of people in bathrooms and locker rooms. One of the
problems is the difficulty of controlling picture taking with remote phones.
One reason it's much more of a problem for universities is
that universities will eventually have to install private showers in locker
rooms as well as private bathrooms with commodes and sinks and clothing lockers.
Colleges may need to act quickly to ward off lawsuits regarding privacy
invasion. Colleges without privacy in locker rooms may even face troubles
competing for athletes applying for college.
Reconstruction will happen. Colleges spent even more to accommodate
disabled-person access. Now more money is needed for privacy protection.
In a recent newsletter Barry Ritholz provided the following interesting
6-10 people per year are killed by sharks worldwide
Many other MBA programs and most masters of accounting programs are less than
two years but pile on the prerequisite courses such that many undergraduate
students must take two years or more in the supposedly shorter programs.
When I was in the Stanford doctoral program one of my friends socially (from
France) was getting his Ph.D. in physics. He completed his Ph.D. in one year,
but Stanford charged him for three years of tuition.
Since the doctoral program for me was free (including room and board) I stuck
around for six years dabbling in a lot of courses. It was then and only then
that I learned to like mathematics. I almost became what was known at Texas A&M
as the Phantom of the Library who lived hidden in the library for some years.
I didn't care for video games, and I never cared for computer games later on.
But tens of millions of people, including my children and grandchildren, are
addicted to them.
What a waste of time.
Uncounted by statisticians and
invisible to tax collectors,
a population the size of Texas -- or about 30 million people -- plies its
trade in the nooks and crannies of what’s become known as the “garage
economy.” There, professions such as mechanics, builders, dentists and
veterinarians conduct their business off-the-books and in cash. President
Vladimir Putin is zeroing in on the phenomenon, said two participants in a
recent Kremlin meeting on economic policy.
It’s the cops, prosecutors and taxes driving them
underground, he told a gathering of ministers, advisers and regional
bureaucrats, according to the people, who asked to remain unidentified
because the discussion wasn’t public. Putin asked the “serious,
bespectacled” lot in front of him to devise a way to ferret out the
businesses and motivate them to legalize their operations, the people said.
The scale of this underworld, estimated at as much
as a quarter of gross domestic product, presents Russia’s leader with a
dilemma. For an economy that’s struggling to shake off a recession in an era
of cheap oil, the millions of undocumented workers could prove an unrivaled
resource as government finances run dry.
It's too bad the USA does not put the same or greater priority on its own $ 2+
trillion underground economy most likely much larger than the underground
economy of Russia. In the USA this leads to great frauds such as working for
more than $20 per hour while collecting welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, etc. ---
One of the most effectvie ways to clobber the underground economy and
underground crime is to do away with cash ala Kenya where it seems to be quite
At the International Society for Technology in
Education conference in Denver this week — attended by more than 15,000 K-12
teachers, school officials, vendors, and reporters — the biggest news was
Amazon’s release of Inspire. This platform looks like the Amazon consumer
shopping site, but it is targeted at helping teachers find, organize, and
share freely available course materials. While the system could easily be
adopted for higher-education usage, the default content organization is
built on K-12 grade levels. There is an area, however, where Amazon has
already come to dominate the educational technology market for colleges and
In the past five years or so, more and more
software that colleges use for online teaching and classroom management has
moved to "the cloud," meaning it is run from some far-off data center via
the web rather than from servers controlled by a college. And these days
most of those cloud systems are hosted by Amazon, through its Amazon Web
Services, or AWS.
How did this sea change occur, and what are the
implications for faculty and staff?
Cloud-based learning platforms are not new, but as
recently as 10 years ago they were the exception. The norm for a
learning-management system in higher education was for the institution to
run the application in its own data center. In fact, colleges initially
pushed back against the cloud trend, insisting that academic data never
leave the campus for privacy reasons (Ferpa in particular) and for the
concern about big tech companies using personal data in ways the colleges
could not control.
Tesla’s Dubious Autopilot Safety Numbers
Since news broke about the first fatal crash of a Tesla using its autonomous
Autopilot system, the car manufacturer has been providing numbers to defend
itself. The system, it says, has driven people over 130 million miles, more
than the 94 million on average between fatalities on U.S. roads. Elon Musk
has asserted that "of the over 1 million auto deaths per year worldwide,
approximately half a million people would have been saved if the Tesla
autopilot was universally available." But those comparisons are
questionable, according to experts. Autopilot only drives on highways, so it
can’t be directly compared with U.S.-wide statistics. And Tesla’s cars are
bigger and safer than many on the road, so you’d expect fewer fatalities. A
recent report suggested that automated cars may have to drive hundreds of
billions of miles before their performance can be fairly compared with
statistics from human drivers. Tesla seems to disagree.
I think MIT is being a bit misleading here. Sometimes reasoning makes more sense
than statistical analysis.
Statistical outcomes, even from very large databases, can be misleading. In
Tesla's case the outcome might be misleading unless geography is taken into
account. Electric cars are more apt to be used for urban commutes in large
cities than out in the boondocks like where I live. Rush hour on Interstate 93
near where I live entails seeing three three other cars on my drive to
Littleton, NH. Naturally there are going to be more accidents on commutes with
electric cars because those commutes are mostly taking place in congested
It makes sense that, if "autopilot" is used on any car according to
instructions and warnings, it doesn't take steering and braking away from a
human driver. Hence autopilot only adds to safety except in one instance ---
neglect of instructions. It is probably easier to lose concentration when the
autopilot is doing the driving. But in the future there will be new technologies
for maintaining concentration and alertness.
Beware of statistical inference with data over "billions of miles." Time and
time again statistics professors warn students that with large samples
insignificant differences are declared statistically significant such as when
831,261 consumers prefer bran flakes versus 831,258 consumers who prefer corn
In the future autopilot hardware and software will be improved such as
automatic braking with approaching collisions much like there is now technology
for diverting airliners that are in danger of colliding. Of course no technology
is fool proof when optimal braking will not totally prevent some collisions on
the road such as when a deer leaps out of nowhere in front of a fast-moving car.
05. With Britain leaving the EU and Donald Trump’s provocative
foreign policy a potential presidential reality, the world’s political
situation is changing. Nick Bilton wonders whether we might be
on the brink of a technological world war.
editors manipulating citation scores in order to inflate the status of their
publications? Are they corrupting the rankings of scholarly journals?
While any allegations about cheating or other academic chicanery are cause
for concern, journal rankings to date continue to offer one rough but useful
source of information to a wide variety of audiences.
Journal rankings help authors to answer the omnipresent question “Where to
publish?” Tenure review committees also use rankings as evidence for
visibility, recognition and even quality in the academic review process,
especially for junior candidates. For them, journal ranking becomes a proxy
when other, more direct measures of recognition and quality are not
available. Given that many candidates for tenure have recent publications,
journal rankings become a surrogate measure for the eventual visibility of
it is easy to rely unduly on quantitative rating scores. The trouble arises
when journal rankings becomes a stand-in for the quality of the research. In
many fields, research quality is a multifaceted concept that is not
reducible to a single quantitative metric. For example, imposing a single
rule -- for example, that top-quartile journals count as “high-quality”
journals while others do not -- assigns more weight to journal rankings than
they deserve and generates the temptation to inflate journals’ scores.
editorial in the journal Research Policy,
editor Ben R. Martin voiced his concern that the manipulation of journal
impact factors undermines the validity of Thompson/Reuters Journal Citation
Reports (JCR). He concludes that “… in light of the ever more devious ruses
of editors, the JIF [journal impact factor] indicator has lost most of its
credibility.” A journal’s impact factor represents the average number of
citations per article. The standard, one-year
impact factor is calculated by summing up
citations to articles published in a journal within the last year, divided
by the number of articles published.
Continued in article
One way journals manipulate their rankings and reputations is to actively
organize in ways such that their authors are nominated for awards
Hurray for you!! The AAA is still the last remaining Politburo on earth.
Like Russian generals with medal strewn chests, the Notable awards
process is truly a farce. The same applies to the Seminal Contribution
award; does anyone know how that process works? It mustn't work very
well because if we are to believe in the wisdom of the process nothing
of any worth was written before 1968. The two Notable exceptions were
the result of selection committees that were put together by the AAA to
create the appearance that it was taking diversity seriously. For the
Notable Contribution why do we need a Nominating Committee and a
Selection Committee? Because the nominating committee is a way to let
the peons participate but deny them any power to actually decide what is
or is not noteworthy (as if within a five year period that is possible).
Here is a study for someone to do. Two awards, the Horizons and Issues
best papers, are by a vote of the membership. All of the others are by a
committee whose members are selected, I assume, by the "Board. My sense
is that there is a dramatic contrast between who wins by vote and who
wins by committee. Tony Tinker and Tony Puxty published a book a number
of years ago titled Policing Accounting Knowledge, which documents with
actual cases of how the review and awards process at AAA worked in the
past. Until the bylaws are changed to allow a more democratic selection
of directors of research and publication nothing is going to happen. In
former AAA president Gregory Waymire's white paper "Seeds of Innovation"
he made the following assessment of the status of the U.S. academy's
premier research: "As a result, I believe our discipline is evolving
towards irrelevance within the academy and the broader society with the
ultimate result being intellectual irrelevance and eventually
extinction." That assessment is spot on, but when a leader of the
academy apparently is powerless to alter the course, it indicates how
firmly entrenched and institutionalized the intellectual mindset of the
AAA is. Until it takes the view that the purpose of research and writing
is not to garner politically correct academic reputations but to address
serious and interesting questions then we will become extinct and no one
will even notice. Our plenary speaker the last time our meeting was in
Anaheim was Diedre McCloskey whose message was the message that Bob has
been harping on for years -- the mindlessness of regressions and
obsession with p values. Did it have any effect? Just look at the
content of our so-called U.S. based premier journals. One huge linear
model after another utilizing data completely ill-suited to the task.
Bob: Guess when we get old the Don Quixote in us comes out. I wish you
Addenda to my previous rant. Your point about replication is more
significant than some seem to appreciate. No archival study that I know
of has ever been literally replicated. Even worse none of those studies
can be replicated because the people who did them violate one of the
fundamental "ethics" of science. Every laboratory scientist must
maintain a log book which describes in great detail how the result of a
particular experiment was produced, i.e., a complete recipe that permits
an independent scientist to actually replicate the study in its entirety
to simply validate the knowledge claim being made by the scientist.
Without that capacity, the claim being made is merely an anecdote (think
of the Jim Hunton affair). It should be sobering to an academy to
realize that the corpus of its knowledge is simply a collection of
anecdotes. "Anecdotal evidence"-- the ultimate put-down, yet most of our
evidence is little more than anecdotes.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown
of Florida and her chief of staff pleaded not guilty Friday to multiple
fraud charges and other federal offenses in a grand jury indictment unsealed
after an investigation into what prosecutors call a phony charity turned
into a personal slush fund.
Brown, a 69-year-old Democrat, and Chief of Staff
Elias "Ronnie" Simmons, 50, entered pleas in Jacksonville federal court on
charges of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, obstruction and filing of false
She has represented a Jacksonville-based
congressional district since 1993 — one of the first three African-Americans
elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction
For many schools the cheating is more likely to be prevalent in basketball and
baseball. One problem is that both basketball and baseball players have five
times or more out-of-town games in a season that keeping up with academics on
campus is nearly impossible relative to less travel for football players.
What NCAA Division 1 university has never been caught up in an academic
cheating scandal? I can't name one university. Most have been caught multiple
times, and the ones that got caught are probably the
tip of the iceberg.
What is really sad is how common place it is for
coaches and alumni to encourage cheating for the sake of winning games.
Google Chrome users looking to boost their
productivity may want to check out StayFocusd, an extension that enables
users to limit the time they allow themselves to spend on designated
websites. Once users add the extension, they can choose which websites they
would like to limit their time surfing. One aspect of StayFocusd that may
appeal to some users is that, unlike many productivity extensions and
applications, it does not entirely block sites. Rather, StayFocusd allows
users to allot a set amount of time to peruse marked sites. After this time
is up, users will see a screen that says "Shouldn't You be Working?" when
they attempt to load URLs that they have chosen to limit. Users may also
remove URLs from this restricted list, but must wait 24 hours to access the
site again. Thus, users can ensure that their daily browsing of social
media, blogs, or newspapers is limited to a time of their choice.
Educators who are fans of using games to facilitate
learning will appreciate Jeopardy Rocks. This free, easy-to-use tool allows
users to create and save their own Jeopardy game questions to use in the
classroom. Users can then facilitate their Jeopardy games by projecting the
game board onto a screen, wall, or other surface. Facilitators can reveal
new questions by clicking on each square and adjust scores simply by
indicating whether a team answered correctly or incorrectly. Facilitators
may choose to adjust the number of players (or teams) to accommodate
different class sizes. Users will need to sign up for a free account to
create and save games.
Flamyngo is a free iPhone application designed to
help travelers crowdsource suggestions when they visit new cities. To use
Flamyngo, users select a city they plan to explore. Next, users can send an
email, text, or Facebook message to friends in order to ask for suggestions
of sites or restaurants to visit. Once messages are sent, the app will
gereate a link where friends can add ideas (they will not need to download
the application themselves). Flamyngo will then add these suggestions to
your map, creating a personalized guidebook for your next trip. Flamyngo is
compatible with Apple devices running iOS 9.1 or higher. Notably, Flamyngo
is also available as a widget that can be added onto blogs.
Moo.do allows users to import information from
other organizational devices (including Google Tasks, Google Contacts,
Workflowy, and Wunderlist) to create multi-pane to-do lists that indicate
tasks to do, tasks in progress, and tasks completed. By adding hashtags and
ampersands, users can tag their activities by topics or indicate when an
activity needs to be completed. To-do lists can then be searched in order to
identify items with common tags or due dates (e.g. "outreach project" or
"tomorrow"). Once completed, the item may be automatically added to an
archived list by selecting a check mark. This online to-do list application
is currently available as a web application or as a phone application on
Open Syllabus Project ---
I find it better to use more than one filter simultaneously
For example, it's better to filter on the University of Texas at Austin and
Business rather than just the University of Texas
In academia plagiarism is the borrowing of central ideas (themes) and/or
literal quotations without attribution. This includes papers and presentations
such as graduation speeches. There have been a number of university presidents
fired after giving a graduation speech that had relatively small portions of
plagiarized ideas or quotations without attributions.
The same is not the case in politics. Exhibit A is Joe Biden who was
not fired for plagiarisms as a senator or as a USA
Vice President even though he probably would have been fired as a university
president for his public speaking plagiarisms. The excuse given is that faceless
speech writers really committed the politicians' plagiarisms. Occasionally the
speech writers get fired.
What's traditional in academic papers and presentations is that it's nearly
always expected in both scholarship and research papers/presentations to set the
stage early on by making attributions to both important ideas and quotations of
previous contributions to what follows in the paper or presentation. Seldom is
any research contribution to the knowledge base so seminal that there is no
stage setting necessary.
The DMCA allows for reasonable (short) literal quotations without permission
of the original authors. There are limitations and disputes regarding the length
of cited quotations, but the idea is that an author cannot prevent public
criticism of his or her work by not allowing any quotations. But these are not
to be plagiarisms without attribution. These are to be quotations with
attribution. Shortness can be defined in terms of proportion. For example,
quoting three paragraphs of an entire book is a undisputably "short." Quoting
three paragraphs from a very short article may be taking too much liberty.
In comedy plagiarism includes literal quotations without attributions but
excludes failure to include attributions for ideas and themes of presentations
and writings. In other words comedians are not expected to set the stage for the
ideas of their comedy material and failure to do so is not plagiarism except in
the case of literal uncited quotations. Even in the case of literal quotations
comedians seem to take wide license quoting without attribution. For example,
Milton Berle established somewhat of a reputation for using the comedy material
of other comedians ---
Even when he got away with it we would have to call his borrowing of literal
quotations plagiarism. It's just not as common in comedy to get called to the
carpet or the courts for uncited quotations. Most certainly ideas for comedy
material usually are seldom given attributions. For example,
nobody would expect Tina Fey to cite sources of ideas for
a joke about cofidence and delusion. Writing an academic paper this topic,
however, would be an entirely different matter.
Interestingly in the DMCA clips up to 30 seconds are usually allowed to be
broadcast (in the news, shows, and courses) without permission of copyright
holders. For example, Lady Gaga did a great job singing the USA National Anthem
in the 2016 Super Bowl. Even though the NFL probably owns the copyright, neither
the NFL nor Lady Gaga can prevent broadcasters and even professors in courses
from using up to a 30-second clip of Lady Gaga's performance. There are
exceptions such as when the only really interesting thing in a bystander's video
of a shooting incident is the five seconds when the victim is shot.
Music is probably the strictest discipline regarding plagiarism. Many
copyright infringement suits are focused on extremely short bits of music.
Furthermore the copyright holder is more likely to claim millions of dollars in
damages. In academic plagiarisms it is usually much more difficult to assess
damages. It's much more common for the copyright holder to merely insist on
removal of the plagiarism (cease and desist) such as plagiarism on a Website or
a Website that gives attribution to an unreasonably long quotation.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is suing the US
government over ‘unconstitutional’ use of the Digital Millennium Copyright
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a
lawsuit on Thursday that American copyright wonks, technologists and
security researchers have been hotly awaiting for nearly 20 years.
If they succeed, one of America’s most
controversial technology laws will be struck down, and countries all over
the world who have been pressured by the US trade representative to adopt
this American rule will have to figure out whether they’ll still enforce it,
even after the US has given up on it.
The rule is section 1201 of the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998, the “anti-circumvention” rule that makes it
illegal to break an “access control” for copyrighted works. These “access
controls” often manifest as “digital rights management” (DRM), and the DMCA
gives them unique standing in law.
EFF is suing the US government, arguing that
section 1201 of the DMCA is unconstitutional, and also that the Library of
Congress and the copyright office have failed to perform their duties in the
three-year DMCA 1201 exemption hearings.
What is digital rights management?
If you buy something, it’s yours, and – you can
modify, configure, or use it any way you’d like, even if the manufacturer
would prefer that you didn’t. But the law forbids you from doing otherwise
legal things if you have to tamper with the DRM to do them.
Originally, this was used exclusively by the
entertainment industries: by adding DRM to DVDs, they could prevent
companies from making DVD players that accepted DVDs bought abroad. It’s not
illegal to bring a DVD home from an overseas holiday and watch it, but if
your DVD player recognises the disc as out-of-region, it is supposed to
refuse to play it back, and the act of altering the DVD player to run
out-of-region discs is unlawful under the DMCA’s section 1201. It could even
be a crime carrying a five-year prison sentence and a $500,000 fine for a
first offense (the act of offering a region-free DVD player for sale, or
even the neighbour’s kid helping you to deregionalise your DVD player, can
be criminal acts).
Companies can only use the DMCA if they can argue
that their DRM protected a copyrighted work. Nike can’t invoke section 1201
of the DMCA to prevent a rival company from offering replacement shoelaces
for its trainers, because shoelaces and trainers aren’t copyrighted (or
copyrightable). But once there’s software involved, copyright enters the
picture because software itself can be copyrighted.
The proliferation of “smart” devices has put
software – and potentially, the DMCA – into every part of our lives. Your
car is a computer that surrounds your body. Auto manufacturers use DRM to
prevent independent mechanics from reading out information from broken cars
and to prevent diagnostic tool-makers from making smarter diagnostic
equipment. Mechanics and tool-makers who want to know what’s wrong with your
car have to either break the DRM (risking fines or even prison) or get the
official manufacturer’s permission to compete, which drives up repair costs.
In other words, now that there’s software in your car, the DMCA can be
invoked to give manufacturers a monopoly over parts, service and features
And it’s not just cars. Every three years, the US
copyright office entertains proposals for limited exemptions to section 1201
of the DMCA.
In 2015, they heard from people who have been
frustrated by anti-circumvention rules as applied to voting machines (a
computer we put a democracy inside of); hospital equipment (a computer we
put sick people inside of); medical implants (computers we put inside our
bodies); as well as critical infrastructure, financial technology and more.
When California passed a law in 2006 requiring schools
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]
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]
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]
"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
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.
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]
According to Copyright.gov, "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]
As this excellent site from the World Intellectual
(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
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]
Scientists of all kinds will benefit from reading this
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
This 76-page report prepared by the Economics and
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]
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]
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]
This snappy and succinct 3-minute video offers readers
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]
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]
Never mind the feud with Kanye West, the pop star
has waged more important fights defending the value of intellectual
Pop star Taylor Swift has been feuding in recent
days with rapper Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian. The details of the
drama are lurid and complicated, but young aficionados of Snapchat and
Instagram have been following it all intently.
If only the same were true for other Taylor Swift
feuds that have received less attention. Namely those the 26-year-old
songstress has fought in defense of a principle often scorned by fellow
celebrities and the social-media generation generally: the value of
intellectual property. In battles against tech titans, Chinese e-commerce
swindlers and others, Ms. Swift has repeatedly insisted on being paid for
her music and brand—and in the process has taught some valuable lessons in
This may be the “information wants to be free” era,
when online content is glibly swiped by millions who would never dream of
shoplifting, but Ms. Swift has a deep appreciation for the profit motive and
the fruits it bestows on society.
Last year she picked a fight with Apple after the
company announced plans to launch its Apple Music streaming service with a
three-month trial period during which users wouldn’t pay subscription fees
and Apple wouldn’t pay royalties for the songs streamed. It was a win-win
for Apple and its users—but for songwriters, it meant turning over their
music at no charge to secure a spot on Apple’s platform. That is, until Ms.
Swift published an open letter, “To Apple, Love Taylor.”
HISTORY HERE is a Webby Award-winning interactive
travel guide to thousands of historic locations across the United States.Use
the app to learn the history around your neighborhood, when you visit
someplace new or if you're just feeling curious while sitting on the couch!
Get the facts about the history that's hidden all
around you, including architecture, museums, battlefields, monuments, famous
homes and much more! And now, you can explore TOURS, a new feature that use
locations as a way to learn about historical themes and topics, such as
Marilyn Monroe's Hollywood, Civil War Atlanta and Al Capone's Chicago. WE
ARE ADDING MORE POINTS OF INTEREST ALL THE TIME. Know a place that's not
listed in the app? Use the Suggest a Place feature to submit it to the
HISTORY editorial team.
Features: Select your current location with GPS or
choose any location across the country. Explore thousands of exclusive
points of interest, written by the history experts at HISTORY. Tap Surprise
Me! to see a random location somewhere in the U.S. Display historic
locations in a zoomable, map-based view or in a scrolling list. Swipe the
top panel on the map to browse. Pinch out and watch the pins cluster. Share
the locations you find with friends via Facebook, Twitter and email. Get
distances and driving or walking directions to points of interest.
In Touching Video, People with Alzheimer’s Tell Us Which Memories They Never
Want to Forget ---
My Uncle Ralph lived for decades in Mankato, Minnesota. One of the first signs
he was getting worse with Alzheimer's is when, after letting his wife off at
their church, he could not remember how to get home. That probably was not his
most cherished memory, but sometimes it's the little things,like
self-sufficiency, in life that add up to a big thing
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 48,146
Intentional self-harm (suicide): 42,773
same year the FBI
by firearms in the United States, a statistic that would indeed rank below
all other entries on this list.
The usefulness of this information to make a point about gun issues is
somewhat questionable, however.
None of the entries on the list save for the last involves intentional
killing, while nearly every other entry on the list other than the last
references some form of medical malady. It's an inescapable fact that
everyone who manages to avoid being killed (intentionally or otherwise) by
someone or something else first will eventually die of some sort of medical
Go Figure! The suicide rate per 100,000 person-years for
active-duty soldiers who work in mechanical and electrical repair. A 2013 study
found that that group has a higher suicide rate
than soldiers whose jobs place them on the front line in combat positions.
I'm no expert, but could it be that the techies had more troubles with failed
aspirations? My cousin Bill retired as major as a combat fighter pilot in both
Europe and Viet Nam. He did not commit suicide, but he was unhappy in his
post-retirement life as a television repairman.
A 91-year-old woman has been questioned by police in Germany — after she filled
in the blanks in a piece of modern art based on a crossword puzzle. The
pensioner, who has not been named under German privacy law, was questioned under
caution after she filled in the work valued at €80,000 (£67,000) with a biro.
"Reading-work-piece", a 1977 work by Arthur Köpcke of the Fluxus movement,
essentially looks like an empty crossword puzzle. Next to the work is a sign
which reads: “Insert words”. The hapless pensioner explained to police that she
was simply following the instructions. “The lady...
A pessimist sees the glass
as half empty, the optimist sees it as half full, and to the engineer, the glass
is twice as big as it needs to be.
If the world didn't suck,
you'd fall off.
A truly happy person is one
who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
Which runs faster, heat or
Heat, everyone knows you can catch a cold.
My idea of housework is to
sweep the room with a glance.
Opportunities always look
bigger going than coming.
Experience is a wonderful
thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.
Blessed are they who can
laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused.
If you try to fail, and
succeed, which have you done?
We can't change the weather,
we can only accept it which means we should all learn from the weather; it pays
no attention to criticism.
Forwarded by Paula
A lexophile of course!
How does Moses make tea? Hebrews it.
Venison for dinner again? Oh deer!
A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy.
I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.
Haunted French pancakes give me the crêpes.
England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool .
I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.
They told me I had type-A blood, but it was a Typo.
I changed my iPod's name to Titanic. It's syncing now.
Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid, but he says he can stop any
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met
When chemists die, they barium.
I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can't put it down.
I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations.
I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she
couldn't control her pupils?
When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
Broken pencils are pointless.
What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.
I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.
All the toilets in New York 's police stations have been stolen. The
police have nothing to go on.
I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.
Velcro - what a rip off!
Don't worry about old age; it doesn't last.
A new study suggests that people are are overweight tend to be less intelligent
than those who are not. According to the study, people who are overweight have
less grey and white matter in key parts of the brain, meaning their brain
develops an “altered reward processing,” effectively meaning they lack the
ability to control their eating. The results were extracted from “very thorough”
brain scans of 32 people from Baltimore....
AECM is an email Listserv list which
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Over the years the AECM has become the worldwide forum for
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Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L
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This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA.
This can be anything from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ
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The CAlCPA Tax Listserv
September 4, 2008 message from Scott Bonacker
Scott has been a long-time contributor to the AECM listserv (he's a techie as
well as a practicing CPA)
There are several highly
capable people that make frequent answers to tax questions posted there, and
the answers are often in depth.
Scott forwarded the following message from Jim
Yes you may mention info on
your listserve about TaxTalk. As part of what you say please say [... any
CPA or attorney or a member of the Calif Society of CPAs may join. It is
possible to join without having a free Yahoo account but then they will not
have access to the files and other items posted.
Once signed in on their Yahoo account go to
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/TaxTalk/ and I believe in
top right corner is Join Group. Click on it and answer the few questions and
in the comment box say you are a CPA or attorney, whichever you are and I
will get the request to join.
Be aware that we run on the average 30 or move emails per day. I encourage
people to set up a folder for just the emails from this listserve and then
via a rule or filter send them to that folder instead of having them be in
your inbox. Thus you can read them when you want and it will not fill up the
inbox when you are looking for client emails etc.
We currently have about 830 CPAs and attorneys nationwide but mainly in
Please encourage your members
to join our listserve.
If any questions let me know.
Jim Counts CPA.CITP CTFA