Category Archives: Education

Cranking Out Code Monkeys

I’d been wondering about this. Apparently, computer “science” degrees are no longer teaching computer science. There’s no doubt that there isn’t as much demand for actual CS types as there is for programmers, but if that’s the case, they should shrink the CS departments and start up a different one, perhaps called computer applications, to teach the programmers. As it is now, I’d consider it academic fraud.

This is a generic problem, to me. The word “science” has gotten too watered down, even (especially?) in academia. Of course, it all started when someone came up with the oxymoronic major, political science…

Pet Peeve

It’s not as bad as “lose”/”loose,” but I see quite a few people, including people who write for a living, mistakenly hyphenating “no one,” as in “No-one believes that.” It looks very strange to my eye, and irritates me. Where does that come from?

The Real Debate

Perry de Havilland discusses the real issue in the creation-evolution wars, that never gets discussed, because it’s taken as a given that the government will fund education:

I have no problem with people believing whatever wacko things they want (and for me that includes all religion), but the evolution vs. creationism debate should be a non political one and the only way that can ever be true is when the state is no longer involved in education.

I think creationism is nuts and it makes me think less of Ron Paul that he has a religious objection to the theory of evolution. But frankly this should not be a matter for political concern and he at least is highly unlikely to force state schools to teach it (or anything else for that matter). The fact that it is a political matter shows something it very wrong and the correct ‘something’ that needs debating is not evolution, it is state schooling. Return all schooling to the private sector and the whole issue goes away from the political sphere. Let the market decide if there is demand for schools that teach creationism, I have no problem with that at all.

Nor do I.

Grammar Rant

I was going to just link something, but after quite a Google search, I couldn’t find a good explanation on line that focused on just this issue (I found lots of hits, but none of them satisfied). It’s been bugging me for decades now (ever since I first went on line, and found so much misuse of the words). I don’t know if it’s a new phenomenon, or if we just see a lot more of it because we see a lot more people’s written material. I also don’t understand why it’s so hard for some people to get right, though perhaps because of the “oo” sound in “lose.” Anyway:

“Lose” = “to not win, or to misplace.”

“Loose” = “not tight, or not bound.”

“Loser” = “someone who has lost.”

“Looser” = “making less tight (or more loose).”

“Losing” = “in the process of achieving a loss, of a sporting event, or political race, or valuable assets.”

“Loosing” = “to set free (e.g., loosing the horses to let them run free, or loosing the dogs to chase a criminal).”

[Sunday update]

Behold, a blog devoted to needless quotation marks.

Making It More Explicit

Apparently academia is no longer satisfied with marinating students in a politically correct on-campus environment. Now they’re being sent to the reeducation camps.

[Evening update]

John Leo has further thoughts:

The indoctrination program pushes students to accept the university’s ideas on politics, race, sex, sociology, moral philosophy and environmentalism. The training is run by Kathleen Kerr, director of residential life, who reportedly considers it a “cutting-edge” program that can be exported to other universities around the country. Residential assistants usually provide services to residents and have light duties, such as settling squabbles among students. Kerr and her program are more ambitious. She has been quoted as saying that the job of RAs is to educate the whole human being with a “curricular approach to residential education.” In this curricular approach, students are required to report their thoughts and opinions. One professor says: “You have to confess what you believe to the RA.” The RAs write reports to their superiors on student progress in cooperating with the “treatment.”

The basic question about the program is how did they think they could ever get away with this?

Good question. But maybe, given the history of the past thirty years or so, it’s not really surprising that they thought they could. And the depressing thing is that they still may.

The deeper follow-on question is: where are the parents, who are paying the bills for these atrocities against the Enlightenment? Maybe if the word gets out, they’ll show up…

Research Request

I just got an email. I don’t in fact have time to answer all these questions, but perhaps some of my readers do. I think that the nation needs more engineers. I also think that it’s sad that the nation doesn’t seem to value them as much as it should, and that they’re often treated particularly shabbily by the aerospace industry:


My name is Harley Wilkinson. I’m a student at Camdenton High School in Camdenton MO. I’m in a Project Lead The Way class and am writing a paper about a field of engineering. I was wondering if you would have the time to answer a few questions for me about your job and the training/education you needed.

1) What is an average day’s work routine is like.
2) What is your particular job duties.
3) What were some of the more helpful college courses you took to prepare you.
4) Do you have any regrets of things you wished you would have done diffrently education wise.
5) As someone straight out of college what is the average starting salary.
6) What high school classes do you believe helped you the most.

If you would be able to take the time to answer these questions it would be greatly appreciated. If not I understand that your time is valuable.

Thank You,
Harley Wilkinson

I Guess I’m “Naive,” Too

I’m not a conservative (but then, neither is Glenn Reynolds) and I’ve never been a big fan of Erwin Chemerinski (or at least his political views–I know nothing about him as a person), but I do agree that he was treated shabbily. Regardless of what Bill Quick thinks.

I think that non-“liberals” can sympathize with this kind of academic McCarthyism in a way that “liberals” cannot, because they rarely experience it.