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Answer to “The Demise of the Expert and the Ascendance of the Layman”
Sammy Elrom - 4/2/2013
Despite admirable language, the article "The Demise of the Expert" is troubling. Dr. Vaknin is lamenting the downfall of the experts’ view due to a process triggered by the evolution of the Internet. But the burden of proof is placed incorrectly. For one, too many academic scandals, including the recent ones involving criminal justice scholarships (see: online-education-degrees.org) and the GED online program surface eve...
Penn State Scandal: Reforming University Athletics
Prof. Peter Morici - 7/21/2012
The report into the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State University, undertaken by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, revealed former President Graham Spanier and legendary football coach Joe Paterno turned a blind eye to sexual abuse by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Dismissal of UVA President Sullivan Was Justified
Prof. Peter Morici - 6/23/2012
Higher education is in crisis, and leaders like recently dismissed University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan bear a heavy burden of responsibility, simply put, for not effectively leading.
Teaching the Controversy
Ron Coody - 3/24/2009
The recent passing of Darwin Day continues to generate discussion in various quarters as to exactly what, if any, is the relationship between the question of evolution and the question of creation. The folks involved in promoting Intelligent Design, have in the past few years sought repeatedly to make a legal and scientific case for what they call “teaching the controversy” of evolution. The idea is that Darwinian theory, that all organism originated from a common ancestor and evolved over the eons by random mutation and natural selection, in spite of evidence for it, also has some glaring p...
Hate Speech At San Francisco State University
Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D. - 3/3/2009
The fragile ceasefire between Hamas and Israel in the recent Gaza incursion may have brought a tentative peace to that region, but on campuses in California — the veritable ground zero of anti-Israel sentiment in the academy — the debate over the 60-year conflict has gained a new, and more insidious, momentum as student demonstrations, protests, and denunciations of racist Zionism, a “brutal occupation,” and “genocide” of Arabs were heard on campuses worldwide.
The Encyclopedia Britannica 2009
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/9/2008
The Encyclopedia Britannica 2009 (established in 1768), both in its Ultimate (now also called "Student and Home") and Deluxe versions, builds on the success of its completely revamped previous editions in 2006-8. The rate of innovation in the last three versions was impressive and welcome. It continues apace in this rendition with Britannica Biographies (Great Minds and Leaders), Classical Music (500 audio files arranged by composer), and a great Workspace for Project Management (a kind of friendly digital den). Generous 6-12 months of free access to the myriad riches of the Britannica Online complete the package.
The Demise of the Expert and the Ascendance of the Layman
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/22/2007
In the age of Web 2.0, authoritative expertise is slowly waning. The layman reasserts herself as a fount of collective mob "wisdom". Information - unsorted, raw, sometimes wrong - substitutes for structured, meaningful knowledge. Gatekeepers - intellectuals, academics, scientists, and editors, publishers, record companies, studios - are summarily and rudely dispensed with. Crowdsourcing (user-generated content, aggregated for commercial ends by online providers) replaces single authorship.
Selective Bias In Media And Academia
Prof. Barry Rubin - 10/14/2007
It’s a difficult philosophical problem. President Shimon Peres said in regard to the invitation to Iran’s president to speak at Columbia that there’s a difference between academic freedom and freedom to lie. In other words, there must be some determination of what is reality.
Why Did Columbia host Ahmadinejad?
Mohammad Parvin and Hassan Daioleslam - 9/25/2007
Iran's President Mahmood Ahmadinejad is scheduled to speak at Columbia University on Monday September 24th. This arrangement is not accidental. The event would have not been possible without the tireless and focused efforts of the well known Tehran advocate Dr. Gary Sick, an influential figure in Columbia.
Cyber Profs Set Up A Communal Writing Project To Establish A Standard For Decentralized Legal Scholarship
Angelique van Engelen - 9/16/2007
A group of cyber professors specializing in law and intellectual property rights are conducting an interesting experiment; they are writing a communal article, just to prove that decentralized legal scholarship might be a rather viable concept. The subject? Intellectual Property. Those two words.
Geographical Ignorance is Bliss?
Dr. Norman Berdichevsky - 8/31/2007
“No child left behind? This has been one of the popular and hollow political catch-words used in recent electoral campaigns in the U.SHow far behind was “Beauty queen” and contestant Lauren Caitlin Upton, a hopeful in the “Miss USA Teen Pageant”, who outdid Grouch Marx’s best one-lines with her off-the-cuff response as to why one-fifth of Americans can’t locate the United States on a world map. Her explanation was….” I personally believe that ….uh… Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don't have maps,". These poor folks are obviously another group of d...
Education With The Right Direction
Dr. Ravindra Kumar - 8/15/2007
What I understand the education with right direction, of course of the imagination of Mahatma Gandhi too, and on which I have emphasized time-to-time in India and abroad, is a process containing four kind of learning. It may be called complete education also, and through it, as I believe the real objective of education can be fulfilled. In it, apart from general education that is imparted according to the syllabus fixed to the purpose at different level, there is a provision of physical, moral and technical learning.
AEYRheads In American Academia
Stephen W. Browne - 8/6/2007
Until I came back from Eastern Europe I hadn’t often had to put up with a certain kind of person that infests the universities and intellectual circles of America and Western Europe. I refer to the kind of "progressive" intellectual I call the Achingly Earnest Young Radical, or AYERhead for short. You know the kind I mean, the ignorant, arrogant know-it-all little twerps who revel in their superior insight at having discerned the true patterns of history, the ulterior designs and the true motives of the rapacious ruling class.
Thou Shalt Not Lie: Teaching Creationism and Evolution
Iqbal Latif - 5/29/2007
School children who see the exhibits in the Creation Museum in Kentucky will be confused when they learn in school that the universe is 14 billion years old rather than 6,000. Those who believe God created the heavens and the Earth in six days about 6,000 years ago say their views are finally being represented by the Christian creators of the 27 million $ sprawling museum.
Resistance to Learning
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/21/2007
The denizens of the Balkans resist learning. They reject newfangled knowledge not because they are traditionalists - but because they are craven and because they are pragmatic.
Jay Bennish Is The Tip Of The Iceberg
Ross Kaminsky - 3/25/2006
For those of who haven't heard the story, Overland High School teacher Jay Bennish was reinstated Friday after a brief suspension following remarks comparing President Bush to Hitler. If you want to hear the 21 minute recording of an anti-American hate screed posing as a high school geography class, click HERE. It's well worth a listen. You won't believe your ears.
One in 20 U.S. adults not literate in English
Bhuwan Thapaliya - 1/22/2006
Despite remarkable efforts by the Government of America to uplift the status of its adult’s English literary rate, a federal study shows that about one in 20 adults in the U.S. are not literate in English, which means 11 million people lack the basic skills to handle many simple day to day tasks.
Caustic Soda: The Need To Test For Benzene
Ross E. Getman, Esq. - 9/25/2005
Five hundred dead fish in Japan, including eels and carp, are a reminder that sometimes dangerous chemicals are involved in the production of soda. Two thousand six hundred forty gallons of sodium hydroxide (better known as caustic soda or lye) leaked into a river from a Coca-Cola factory. The sodium hydroxide is used to sterilize plastic beverage bottles. In an unrelated development, internal documents disclosed for the first time this past week by a whistleblower demonstrate the importance of testing certain sodas regularly for a different dangerous chemical: benzene.
Economics and Race in New Orleans Evacuation Effort
Ross Kaminsky - 9/11/2005
Speaking to the National Baptist Convention in Miami yesterday, Howard Dean not only implicitly calls President Bush and the administration racists, but also uses the tragedy to push for a larger welfare state and higher taxes. The quote that all the media outlets are picking up is: "the ugly truth that skin color, age and economics played a significant role in who survived and who did not." In a way there is some truth to his words, but not in the way he means them. It's true that economics played a role in the sense that it was much more difficult for the very poor to leave. It also appears ...
America's Second Civil War
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/6/2005
[Reprinted with permission from: "The Second Civil War in the USA and its Aftermath" by Sam Vaknin] "The polities of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries swung between extremes of nationalism and polyethnic multiculturalism. Following the Great War (1914-8), the disintegration of most of the continental empires - notably the Habsburg and Ottoman - led to a resurgence of a particularly virulent strain of the former, dressed as Fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism.
Universities, Entertainment and John Edwards - The Copyright Complex
David H. Rothman - 6/5/2005
Had Nikita Khrushchev really banged his shoe against a desk at the U.N. in October 1960? The spring before, missiles had downed an American U-2 spy plane deep in Soviet territory, and Khrushchev was now waging the Cold War in full fury after a delegate from the Philippines accused the USSR of "swallowing up" Eastern Europe. Witnesses could not agree whether or not the shoe had hit the desk. But something else was clear on a grander level. When Dwight Eisenhower gave his farewell address in early 1961, Washington was undeniably fixated on defeating the Russians. Many in Eisenhower's place would have left office while simply mouthing the usual platitudes in favor of A Strong Defense.
Battle of the Titans - Encarta vs. the Britannica
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/14/2005
The Encarta Encyclopedia - and even more so, the Encarta Reference Library Premium 2005 - is an impressive reference library. It caters effectively (and, at $70, cheaply) to the educational needs of everyone in the family, from children as young as 7 or 8 years old to adults who seek concise answers to their queries. It is fun-filled, interactive, colorful, replete with tens of thousands of images, video clips, and audio snippets.
Is Education a Public Good?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/12/2005
Contrary to common misconceptions, public goods are not "goods provided by the public". Public goods are sometimes supplied by the private sector and private goods - by the public sector. This public good can be supplying meals on wheels to a grandmother in New York or providing personal training in Tucson. It is the contention of this essay that technology is blurring the distinction between these two types of goods and rendering it obsolete.