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What are you reading now?
Topic Started: Nov 7 2006, 08:06 PM (62,253 Views)
MainerMikeBrown
Senior Carp
I haven't read much of that Tedy Bruschi book that I mentioned on this thread last month lately.
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George K
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Finally
Bryson's "History" is a delight.

Oh...I finished "The Looming Tower" this morning. Very good, very detailed description of everything that led to 9/11.
Edited by George K, Apr 7 2018, 08:12 AM.
A guide to GKSR: Click

"Now look here, you Baltic gas passer... "
- Mik, 6/14/08


Nothing is as effective as homeopathy.

I'd rather listen to an hour of Abba than an hour of The Beatles.
- Klaus, 4/29/18
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bachophile
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George K
Apr 7 2018, 08:12 AM


Oh...I finished "The Looming Tower" this morning. Very good, very detailed description of everything that led to 9/11.
embarrassed to say I'm still reading it, but I'm going slow. NYR (not yet retired)
Edited by bachophile, Apr 7 2018, 10:16 AM.
"I don't know much about classical music. For years I thought the Goldberg Variations were something Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg did on their wedding night." Woody Allen
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George K
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Finally
bachophile
Apr 7 2018, 10:16 AM
George K
Apr 7 2018, 08:12 AM


Oh...I finished "The Looming Tower" this morning. Very good, very detailed description of everything that led to 9/11.
embarrassed to say I'm still reading it, but I'm going slow. NYR (not yet retired)
After a while, all those Arab names start to sound alike, so it gets confusing. However, the author does a good job of referencing past mentions when they resurface.

The interactions between CIA and FBI were appalling. Worse than I'd ever imagined.
A guide to GKSR: Click

"Now look here, you Baltic gas passer... "
- Mik, 6/14/08


Nothing is as effective as homeopathy.

I'd rather listen to an hour of Abba than an hour of The Beatles.
- Klaus, 4/29/18
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MainerMikeBrown
Senior Carp
My father is currently reading a book about Native American culture and how they were terrorized by the white man.

When he's done with it, maybe I'll read it, or at least the first part of the book.
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jon-nyc
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Cheers
Finished this on vacation:

Posted Image
In my defense, I was left unsupervised.
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Aqua Letifer
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ZOOOOOM!
Any good?
I cite irreconcilable differences.
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jon-nyc
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It is. But depressing. Though he retains some optimism.
In my defense, I was left unsupervised.
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jon-nyc
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Cheers
I just picked this up:

Posted Image
In my defense, I was left unsupervised.
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George K
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Finally
Started this morning.

Posted Image

The more of le Carre I read, the more enthralled with his use of language I become. It's almost as though the plot is secondary to the lushness of description, the color of just *that* word.
A guide to GKSR: Click

"Now look here, you Baltic gas passer... "
- Mik, 6/14/08


Nothing is as effective as homeopathy.

I'd rather listen to an hour of Abba than an hour of The Beatles.
- Klaus, 4/29/18
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MainerMikeBrown
Senior Carp
Jon-NYC, I'm interested in why this author thinks the education system is a waste of time and money, and what he thinks would be a better way of educating people.
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Aqua Letifer
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ZOOOOOM!
George K
Apr 8 2018, 10:52 AM
Started this morning.

Posted Image

The more of le Carre I read, the more enthralled with his use of language I become. It's almost as though the plot is secondary to the lushness of description, the color of just *that* word.
Read some Flaubert. Its that on steroids.
I cite irreconcilable differences.
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Klaus
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HOLY CARP!!!
MainerMikeBrown
Apr 8 2018, 11:22 AM
Jon-NYC, I'm interested in why this author thinks the education system is a waste of time and money, and what he thinks would be a better way of educating people.
Judging from the blurb, the title of the book is misleading, since the author seems to argue that schools and colleges don't educate but certify.

Obviously I haven't read the book, but I suspect I'd quickly disagree with some of the basic premises the author makes.
Trifonov Fleisher Klaus Sokolov Zimmerman
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Horace
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Klaus
Apr 8 2018, 12:24 PM
I suspect I'd quickly disagree with some of the basic premises the author makes.
Would your suspected disagreement be based on higher education in your discipline, or higher education in general?
As a good person, I implore you to do as I, a good person, do. Be good. Do NOT be bad. If you see bad, end bad. End it in yourself, and end it in others. By any means necessary, the good must conquer the bad. Good people know this. Do you know this? Are you good?
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Klaus
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Horace
Apr 8 2018, 12:39 PM
Klaus
Apr 8 2018, 12:24 PM
I suspect I'd quickly disagree with some of the basic premises the author makes.
Would your suspected disagreement be based on higher education in your discipline, or higher education in general?
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Trifonov Fleisher Klaus Sokolov Zimmerman
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jon-nyc
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Klaus, you'd probably agree with it more than you expect. Although his points are likely more valid for the US system.

First of all, its worth pointing out he's not saying the concept of education is a bad thing. In other words, he's not saying 'not knowing anything is just as good as knowing stuff'. Rather he's talking about the efficacy of our actually existing higher education system.

On the face of it, higher education seems 'worth it' if you just look at the earnings gap between the college educated and the non-college educated (try not to explode, Aqua, I'll get to your immediate objection soon enough). He concedes the gap is real, and then explores the three typical reasons cited for it:

1 - the 'human capital' argument - education gives you useful skills, those skills are rewarded in the job market

2 - the 'ability bias' argument - smarter people do better than less smart people, the level of education just (broadly) correlates with how smart you are. In other words, (in general) the people who succeed post-college would have been the more successful people in a world without college.

3 - the 'signaling' argument - getting a degree signals to the world that you can conform to institutional expectations, can play by the rules, etc. This is a good indicator for an employer hence they would much rather hire college graduates than dropouts.


He concedes that all three factors are in play, but makes an empirical case for why #3 is more dominant that #1 and #2. (of course the mix would be different in different fields of study, there's more of #1 in vocational/technical majors, for example).

So really he's saying we spend a trillion dollars a year on this, and its mostly signaling. Ergo it's probably not worth it in aggregate. Seems there should be cheaper ways to signal.

Again, he concedes that, given the way the system operates, it's rational for many people to play the game and go through with it. His own kids are headed to college, no doubt. So 'its not worth it' should be interpreted as 'what we get out of it as a society is not worth the resources we put into it'.

Now - to the objection that this analysis treats college as vocational, and ignores how much we learn and how much we learn to think, etc. He addresses that too, also empirically. He cites lots of statistics about how little people retain and how little the ability to reason improves after four years of college. So insofar as college's purpose is to make us all broader and deeper intellectually, it also is failing (in aggregate).



Now let me add the caveat that I've not yet read the book. But he's been talking about this for a long time so i'm pretty familiar with his general argument. I've also listened to him do a couple of different feature-length interviews on the book.
In my defense, I was left unsupervised.
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jon-nyc
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Horace - your brother got a shout-out in the introduction.
In my defense, I was left unsupervised.
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Horace
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HOLY CARP!!!
jon-nyc
Apr 8 2018, 01:54 PM
On the face of it, higher education seems 'worth it' if you just look at the earnings gap between the college educated and the non-college educated (try not to explode, Aqua, I'll get to your immediate objection soon enough). He concedes the gap is real, and then explores the three typical reasons cited for it:

1 - the 'human capital' argument - education gives you useful skills, those skills are rewarded in the job market

2 - the 'ability bias' argument - smarter people do better than less smart people, the level of education just (broadly) correlates with how smart you are. In other words, (in general) the people who succeed post-college would have been the more successful people in a world without college.

3 - the 'signaling' argument - getting a degree signals to the world that you can conform to institutional expectations, can play by the rules, etc. This is a good indicator for an employer hence they would much rather hire college graduates than dropouts.


He concedes that all three factors are in play, but makes an empirical case for why #3 is more dominant that #1 and #2. (of course the mix would be different in different fields of study, there's more of #1 in vocational/technical majors, for example).

So really he's saying we spend a trillion dollars a year on this, and its mostly signaling. Ergo it's probably not worth it in aggregate. Seems there should be cheaper ways to signal.

Again, he concedes that, given the way the system operates, it's rational for many people to play the game and go through with it. His own kids are headed to college, no doubt. So 'its not worth it' should be interpreted as 'what we get out of it as a society is not worth the resources we put into it'.

Now - to the objection that this analysis treats college as vocational, and ignores how much we learn and how much we learn to think, etc. He addresses that too, also empirically. He cites lots of statistics about how little people retain and how little the ability to reason improves after four years of college. So insofar as college's purpose is to make us all broader and deeper intellectually, it also is failing (in aggregate).
I've never read or listened to him, but that sounds a lot like my own thoughts on higher education. (Half-baked thoughts, in my case.)

Quote:
 
Horace - your brother got a shout out in the introduction.


Cool!
As a good person, I implore you to do as I, a good person, do. Be good. Do NOT be bad. If you see bad, end bad. End it in yourself, and end it in others. By any means necessary, the good must conquer the bad. Good people know this. Do you know this? Are you good?
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Klaus
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HOLY CARP!!!
jon-nyc
Apr 8 2018, 01:54 PM
but makes an empirical case ...
Maybe I'll also take a look at the book, but in the area of education, empirical methods are so unreliable (or rather, so easy to manipulate) that they are almost random noise. But anyway, I guess I will have to read the book to say anything useful :)

I've become a little annoyed by the book selling strategy "Pick a commonly accepted truth X. Now write a book 'The case against X'.", though.
Trifonov Fleisher Klaus Sokolov Zimmerman
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bachophile
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HOLY CARP!!!
George K
Apr 8 2018, 10:52 AM
Started this morning.

Posted Image

The more of le Carre I read, the more enthralled with his use of language I become. It's almost as though the plot is secondary to the lushness of description, the color of just *that* word.
absolutely

its just a pleasure in sinking into his use of the language.

he is also fun to reread,inevitably with less concentration on the plot, u pick up even more subtleties.
Edited by bachophile, Apr 8 2018, 11:40 PM.
"I don't know much about classical music. For years I thought the Goldberg Variations were something Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg did on their wedding night." Woody Allen
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Optimistic
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HOLY CARP!!!
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A recommendation from a colleague. Its a fun read so far, about 80 pages in. Ive been to Barcelona a few times now, and the book does a good job of bringing the citys streets and landmarks into the story.
PHOTOS

I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up.
- Mark Twain


We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
-T. S. Eliot
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Horace
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HOLY CARP!!!
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A fun read, but not much new if you've read the available long form reporting.
As a good person, I implore you to do as I, a good person, do. Be good. Do NOT be bad. If you see bad, end bad. End it in yourself, and end it in others. By any means necessary, the good must conquer the bad. Good people know this. Do you know this? Are you good?
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George K
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Finally
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Oh, yeah. "The Constant Gardener" is a masterpiece.
Edited by George K, Apr 21 2018, 07:37 AM.
A guide to GKSR: Click

"Now look here, you Baltic gas passer... "
- Mik, 6/14/08


Nothing is as effective as homeopathy.

I'd rather listen to an hour of Abba than an hour of The Beatles.
- Klaus, 4/29/18
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bachophile
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HOLY CARP!!!
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Edited by bachophile, Apr 21 2018, 09:36 AM.
"I don't know much about classical music. For years I thought the Goldberg Variations were something Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg did on their wedding night." Woody Allen
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George K
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Finally
From Isaacson's bio of Einstein:

Quote:
 
On one of the many occasions when Einstein declared that God would not play dice, it was Bohr who countered with the famous rejoinder: Einstein, stop telling God what to do!
A guide to GKSR: Click

"Now look here, you Baltic gas passer... "
- Mik, 6/14/08


Nothing is as effective as homeopathy.

I'd rather listen to an hour of Abba than an hour of The Beatles.
- Klaus, 4/29/18
Online Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
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