twitterhugKristin Wilcox looks at ways liberal arts colleges need to try to sell themselves. (Not sure if I got this from Hanley or I need to forward this to him.)

Uncle Steve applies Moynihan’s Law to a recent David Leonhardt and Bradford Wilcox pieces on marital success and family in red and blue states.

Dan Kahan writes about the problem he sees with consensus messaging in the climate change debate.

Tyler Cowen looks at the economic states in Kansas and Louisiana. Scott Sumner tackles Louisiana.

Italy promised pain if the EU didn’t agree to distribute the superstate’s refugees, but France and Germany are not so sure about the solution.

Rivals Apple and Samsung are teaming up to replace SIM cards.

Police officers are taking advantage of superpowered comrades to fight crime. No masks and capes, alas.

Dick Tracy wasn’t a particularly good movie, but it was visually marvelous.

Rent-controlled apartments in Sweden are less segregated by income, but more segregated by ethnicity.

Canadian oil fields are looking at self-driving trucks.

Will Germany’s demographic crunch knock it off its perch at the top of the EU?

There are some stories with happy endings of people who use technology to locate their lost or stolen smartphone or laptop. This is not one of those stories.

If oil extraction is causing earthquakes in Oklahoma, it may not be an issue of fracking as much as salt water disposal.

The LDS Church is showing off the stone that Joseph Smith allegedly used to translate the Book of Mormon.

Ross Douthat argues that there is no pro-life case for Planned Parenthood. The results of the Colorado experiment have been oversold, but it’s still something I’d like to see pursued.

Did Hiroshima and Nagasaki save Hokkaido from Soviet rule?


Category: Newsroom

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17 Responses to Linkluster Dreihundertfünfundneunzig

  1. Oscar Gordon says:

    Kahan isn’t the only guy to say that, but since his name isn’t Pielke, I bet he gets more traction.

  2. Abel Keogh says:

    The Kristin Wilcox essay made me shake my head. I heard faculty at my alma mater say similar things when I was a student. The problem with most liberal arts programs is that they don’t teach students anything of value–let alone critical thinking skills. If they want to become relevant and reverse their perceptions, they need an overhaul of their entire program.

    • oscar.gordon says:

      Oh I disagree (and I say this as someone with degrees in engineering).

      The problem with Liberal Arts programs is, for many of them, that they fail to address the question we all had in high school algebra – “When/Where am I going to use this in real life?”

      It’s one thing if you go to college to get an education for the educations sake, but that is uncommon these days, and speaks of wealth & elitism. For people who don’t have wealth or good networks, career options are important, and Liberal Arts programs are bad at translating their curriculum to career paths.

      My wife has a history degree, and a library degree, and spends her days doing knowledge management for the Lazy B. She does that because she’s smart as hell & thought real hard about how to turn those two degrees into something marketable. She got no real help from either degree program on how to do that (the library program was pretty much – go work at a public library – which has the problem that supply outstrips demand by a wide margin, you think lawyers have it bad?!).

      • Abel Keogh says:

        I thought you were disagreeing with me.

        • oscar.gordon says:

          I disagree that they don’t teach anything of value, or that they don’t (necessarily, some programs are better than others) teach critical thinking skills.

          The curriculum has value, but it’s not always obvious how that value translates to a career. The program is obligated to make it more obvious, but they don’t want to because of elitist attitudes regarding the intrinsic value of education.

    • Michael Cain says:

      I often get confused in this type of discussion because I’m never quite sure what different people mean when they say “liberal arts”. Sometimes people mean “fine arts” like music or theater. Other times people mean “soft sciences” like sociology. I know a surprising number of people applying their anthropology and psychology degrees at large tech companies today, doing things from as mundane as user interface studies to (at least IMO) as exotic as cultural anthropology research aimed at the question of how different cultures might have different uses for high-end processors. The problem in the cases I know of is that the field is grossly overcrowded: all of the people are either PhDs or ABDs; a bachelors degree isn’t enough to ever get considered.

  3. Michael Cain says:

    I’d like to see how Moynihan’s Law compares to a combination of 25th-percentile household income, Gini coefficient, and employment participation rate. My suspicion is that having more of your people working in jobs that pay well improves outcomes in lots of social well-being measurements.

    I also suspect there are positive feedback loops that are hard to get established when they don’t already exist. When I worked for the state government I had occasional interactions with the Governor’s Office group that worked with companies considering expansion or moves to Colorado. The ones that you really wanted, that would bring in a batch of high-paying jobs, asked about transportation, communications, quality of public schools and universities, and other quality-of-life things. Tax rates were much lower on the list. Right-to-work hardly ever got mentioned. I’ve been known to ask acquaintances in Texas, “Why are your politicians working so hard to attract the wrong kind of jobs?”

    • trumwill says:

      The wrong kinds of jobs are likely to be better than no jobs at all. That may not be the situation that Colorado and Texas are in, but it’s true of a lot of the southern states. Some states have better hands to deal with than others.

      The most obvious reason for the Moynihan rule mostly relates to the relative dysfunction of the southeast, and the immigrant populations of the southwest.

      The Wilcox paper seems interesting, basically looking at it that if you delineate by county instead of state, things look different. Which makes sense to a degree. On the other hand, it’s hard to say how much heavy lifting “controlling for other factors” is doing there.

  4. Peter says:

    Germany’s very low birth rate is not the result of small family sizes. When people have children they have as many as in other developed countries. The problem is that a bizarrely high percentage of German women have no children at all, considerably more than anywhere else.
    As for Moynihan’s Law, while being close to the Canadian border may be good for states, there aren’t many benefits on a city level. Consider that the two biggest border cities are Detroit and Buffalo

    • trumwill says:

      I’m trying to recall what Jonathan Last said about birth rates in the US… I think he said it was actually as much a matter of people who have kids having fewer, rather than just fewer people having kids. Not sure if that applies to Germany, tho.

  5. Michael Cain says:

    Brine disposal is a tough problem. “Salt water” makes the produced brines sound more innocuous than they are. This is generally very nasty stuff, and injection is the only effective and affordable way to get rid of it. In traditional oil and gas operations, brines were usually pumped back into the producing formations to maintain reservoir pressure. Pumping them back into tight formations that require fracking is a much more expensive proposition — enough so that I expect it would make most such operations unprofitable unless oil and gas prices go much higher. And now we have evidence that disposing of them by overpressurizing less-tight formations causes moderate earthquakes.

    When I was in graduate school in Texas back in the 1970s I worked on systems analysis models for natural gas production from geopressured brine reservoirs — there’s a staggering amount of onshore gas dissolved in such under Texas and Louisiana. Brine disposal killed the economics on all of them.

  6. Jhanley says:

    You need to forward that to me.

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